unless the leafs dont have room for him, i'd expect him to sign there if he gets to that level.
If they dont offer or cant, tampa is a possibility - as i understand it that door was left open for him, but i'd bet on buffalo, ottawa, detroit, or montreal, because it does appear he wants to stay as close to home as possible.
If he brings his game to the NHL level as the season progress, then yes he will be with the Leafs. However he is CURRENTLY signed to an AHL contract and that only. He still has ways to go and has shown rust in his first game. Those are putting him in the Leafs NHL roster are prematurely doing so as we still have few players ahead of him in the call up department for defensemen, such as Holzer and possibly Blacker.
I believe he has a clause in his contract that states that he cannot sign with another team, other than the Leafs, during his tenure with the Marlies. That would give the Leafs the front edge in signing him to an NHL deal.
He wants to be a Leaf. I have no doubt in my mind that he will be a Maple Leaf and most likely be a very good top four d-man.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's like this. I can't remember a team signing a player from another team's AHL affiliate in the middle of having a AHL contract. But I do remember my Ducks signing a couple of players from their own affiliate. Bruno St. Jacques (in his second stint with the organization) is one I can think of.
I believe Ranger is on the fence. His injury history and family situation was why he A) retired from hockey B) wants to play a full season in the AHL before considering the NHL.
He just got back from a concussion and looks to be back into shape. However he will definitely want to consider the pro's and cons of playing in the NHL again.
Its funny because Holzer and Fraser are playing great on the leafs. However Paul Ranger was hands down the best defense man on the Marlies this year. He is an NHL defense man, just needs to decide if he wants to go back.