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Maple Leafs glad not to splurge with ‘too much money’ going around

2016 NHL Awards Nominees

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21: Matt Martin of the New York Islanders speaks with the media during a press availability on June 21, 2016 at the Encore Ballroom in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2016 NHL Award Ceremony will by held on June 22 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Sometimes the biggest “winners” of free agency are the teams that decided not to get on the dance floor.

The cash thrown around on July 1 has been dizzying; The Associated Press’ Stephen Whyno places the spending at about $650 million.

With Steven Stamkos off the market, the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t contribute much to that spending, as Matt Martin’s four-year, $10 million contract was their “headliner.”

Going big after the flavor of the month isn’t usually the style of Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello, as he related to Sportsnet.

“I think that everything that happens these days, it’s too much money,” Lamoriello said. “I don’t see many contracts that were signed that were not too much money. I’ve said this year in and year out.”

Granted, some might believe that Martin’s contract is a little too much money and a little too much term, yet Martin-type deals aren’t the ones that submarine teams.

(Speaking of which, Lamoriello didn’t sound too optimistic about Joffrey Lupul, who owns one of those regrettable deals.)

Now, sure, the Maple Leafs probably would have bent their own rules if Stamkos was available. We’ll never know what kind of offer they really would have trotted out.

Some executives might have acted emotionally by trying to land the next biggest thing, sometimes over-extending themselves instead of soberly gauging the market.

That used to be a painful way of life in Toronto, but it looks like times are changing, even if that means accepting that a patient approach means less funny on big days like these.

Then again, fans could always start dreaming about guys like John Tavares in future summers ...