After a mysterious exit from the game nearly four years ago, Paul Ranger resurfaced with the Toronto Marlies last season. Now, the 28-year-old Whitby, Ont. native has signed an NHL deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Though terms of the deal have not been disclosed, it’s believed the contract is a one-year deal worth $1 million a season. Likely, when the details surface, it will be a two-way deal that will allow Ranger to spend a bit of time in the AHL.
Last season, his first back in the professional ranks, Ranger had a stellar year for the Leafs top affiliate. In 60 games (51 regular season, 9 playoff), Ranger potted 10 goals and 19 assists, good for third in scoring by Marlies defencemen.
At only 28, Ranger still has a lot of career in front of him, and it seems the break from the game was what he needed. While the reason for his departure from the NHL — and hockey in general — has never surfaced, it’s nice to see whatever ailed the talented blue liner has subsided and he’s back in the game.
A sixth round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2002, Ranger has played in 281 NHL contests, racking up 20 goals and 79 assists. His AHL career has consisted of 130 games, where he tallied 43 points (14-29).