Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 28, 2019

by | Apr 28, 2019 | Rumors | 98 comments

Check out the latest on Mitch Marner plus updates on the Edmonton Oilers and some suggested free-agent targets for the New Jersey Devils in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

WILL THE LEAFS RE-SIGN OR TRADE MARNER?

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston recently observed every roster decision for the Toronto Maple Leafs is on hold until the club addresses Mitch Marner’s new contract. He believes there can’t be a creative contract that might keep unrestricted free agent defenseman Jake Gardiner in Toronto or new deals for RFA forwards Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson without first re-signing Marner. 

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs trade Mitch Marner if unable to re-sign him by July 1? (Photo via NHL Images)

During his season-ending press conference, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas indicated it was imperative to get Marner re-signed before July 1, when the young forward becomes eligible to sign an offer sheet from a rival club. Dubas also hopes to avoid repeating the lengthy standoff that led up to re-signing William Nylander last year. 

Johnston believes there will be two types of comparables discussed between Dubas and the Marner camp. The first will be the contracts of teammates Auston Matthews (five years, $11.6 million annually) and John Tavares (seven years, $11 million) and those of star wingers on other clubs, such as Chicago’s Patrick Kane ($10.5 million), Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (over $9.5 million) and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov, Vegas’ Mark Stone and Dallas’ Jamie Benn ($9.5 million). 

Johnston’s colleague Nick Kypreos believes Dubas’ offer must come in close or at par to Matthews’ contract. If it doesn’t, Kypreos feels Marner owes it to himself to take this to July 1. Elliotte Friedman believes the Leafs are mentioned July 1 as their way of indicating they’re not going to let anyone else dictate what Marner’s salary will be.  As for the possibility of a trade, Friedman doesn’t rule it out if an agreement on a new contract isn’t reached by July 1. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind there’s still plenty of time for the Leafs and Marner to hammer out an agreement before July 1. I believe they’ll get this worked out but it’s going to cost a lot of money.

We’re talking about a 21-year-old forward who was the Leafs’ leading scorer this season and last, who’s coming off a career-high 94-point campaign and proven more durable than Matthews, who was sidelined a total of 34 games by shoulder injuries since last season. It’ll be quite the accomplishment if Dubas convinces Marner to accept less than $10 million per season. I think it’ll be closer to $11 million. 

As for a trade, I’ll be stunned if the Leafs actually move Marner this summer. Yes, they’ll get a substantial return, including perhaps that elusive top-two right-side defenseman they desperately need, but I feel they see him as one of their foundation players. I consider Kapanen, Nazem Kadri or even William Nylander to be the more likely trade candidates.

LATEST ON THE OILERS

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently addressed the dissatisfaction Edmonton Oilers fans feel toward defenseman Adam Larsson. He defended Larsson’s abilities as a shutdown rearguard and felt he’s being made the scapegoat for an otherwise porous Oilers blueline. Mitchell believes it would be “insane” for the Oilers to trade Larsson this summer, pointing to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s Feb. 28 column indicating there were multiple denials from the club regarding the rumors swirling around the defenseman at the trade deadline. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Friedman telling Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now that the club has narrowed the search for a new general manager to three candidates, likely Mark Hunter, Kelly McCrimmon, and Sean Burke. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A big reason why Oilers’ fans are so down on Larsson is the player sent the other way in the trade that brought him to Edmonton (Taylor Hall) blossomed into a Hart Trophy winner with his new team. It may be insane to trade Larsson but the Oilers have a reputation for making head-scratching moves. A new general manager could decide to keep Larsson or float his name in the trade market this summer to see what he might fetch in return.

SUGGESTED FREE AGENT TARGETS FOR THE DEVILS

NJ.COM: Earlier this month, Chris Ryan examined some possible options for the New Jersey Devils in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. Those on his list include Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin and center Matt Duchene, San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ryan pointed out Devils GM Ray Shero has avoided making big splashes in the UFA pool in recent years but could attempt to swing a major signing to speed up his club’s rebuilding process. As per Cap Friendly, the Devils have over $47.3 million invested in 13 players. Pavel Zacha, Will Butcher, Connor Carrick, Mirco Mueller, and Stefan Noesen are their noteworthy restricted free agents and all should be affordable re-signings, leaving Shero plenty of cap room to land a big fish in the UFA pond.

It’s one thing to have the cap space and the willingness to use it to sign a top UFA. It’s another to actually get it done. Even if Shero can offer more money and term than other clubs, that might not be enough to convince someone like Panarin or Karlsson or Skinner to sign with a rebuilding team.  As attractive as it might be to a center like Duchene to have an elite winger like Taylor Hall skating on his wing,  he would have to be convinced that the Devils are poised to become a serious playoff contender in the coming year.

That’s not to say Shero won’t sign a decent free-agent forward or two, but he might have to settle for second-tier talent. To land an impact player, he might have to go the trade route and target teams looking to shed salary. 







98 Comments

  1. Marner’s going nowhere – he’s the reason a lot of us watch the Leafs.
    Why is Jeff Skinner still unsigned?

    • To me, Marner is the best player on that team in a few aspects and should get a few dollars more than Tavares and Matthews. If Dubas is smart, dont mess around, lock him up now and send a statement.
      8yrs @ $13mil

      • Dubas isn’t smart. He knew very well he had Matthews and Marner to sign for big bucks, and he proceeded to overpaid Nylander. Now he finds himself in the same position Bowman in Chicago did: having to dump good second level talent because his top forwards inhale too much cap space.

      • totally agree. Marner is better and more durable than Matthews.

      • By dealing with Matthews first, Dubas put pressure on Marner to settle for less than he’s worth. Then he puts pressure on Marner to sign before July 1st. I’m not sure what Marner thinks about these moves but I’ll bet his agent is not pleased. It would be fitting if that agent informed Dubas that negotiations would begin the second week of July, and that he expects an opening offer of $11.6 over 5 years.

    • Not so sure. He is waiting for July 1, otherwise he would’ve been signed by now. I’d give him 12-13 for 8 in a heartbeat.So would a lot of teams out there. He WILL get more than AM and JT and TO can’t afford that.

      The math is easy. The results are not…

      • You’d give Marner more than McDavid, Kucherov, Kane, Draisaitl, etc?
        He’s a terrific talent, and I think he’d be worth as much as Matthews or Tavares, if he were a centre.
        But he’s a winger, and these guys are worth less on the free market. Kane makes $10M/yr, Kucherov and Mark Stone $9.5, and these are pure wingers. Draisaitl plays both positions, and makes $8.5.
        Marner on the free market is a $9-9.5M/yr player.

      • Yes I would because he is 21 and in 4 years that contract will be a value, in 6-7 years a bargain…

  2. And the unrelenting pressure in the TO media and fan-base when it comes to the Leafs continues. According to Steve Simmons in today’s Sun papers:

    “For the third straight playoff season, the Leafs were beaten by an opponent on special teams. That’s on the coach.

    When Babcock won a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings, they had an 86.7% penalty killing average. Normally, to contend at a high level, when you add penalty killing to power play, the number should be greater than 100. Washington won the Stanley Cup last year: This special teams number 105.3. The year before, Pittsburgh with 104.1 won the Cup. The Leafs this playoff season were at 75.1. In three playoff seasons, they have never been higher than 93.4. Penalty killing has never been better than 70.6% in a playoff series.

    Never mind the empty net goals, the last six Boston goal scorers in the playoffs have been Noel Acciari, Charlie Coyle (2), Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly and Marcus Johansson. That’s who beat the Leafs in the end. Toronto had two games to win the series, scored three goals in total in the two games. You can’t win doing that. They didn’t get a goal from an Acciari or a Kuraly when they needed one …

    (Babcock) will be asked over the course of the summer — and likely before that — to expand his horizons, to be less stubborn and set in his ways, to be more creative in his approach to coaching the team.”

    Simmons didn’t say where his knowledge of that last one came from. But that won’t stop similar articles TV/radio discussions and fan opinions all summer long.

    Meanwhile, I wonder if those in Boston who don’t buy tickets to watch Acciari, Coyle, Nordstrom, Kuraly and Johansson are happy with the salaries they make compared to the stars?

    • Simmons is a troll really you would take his opinion on anything

      • And you’re a sycophant who only wants to hear positives when it comes to the Leafs and never EVER what you should hear. Part of the throngs.

  3. Somebody has got to tell me HOW the Leafs are going to sign Marner at $11 million and address depth AND defense?…..they need a high end D guy and that won’t be cheap. So let’s say $40 million tied up in 4 players???? Don’t see it happening

    • Bye bye Willy as there is no way this team can compete cap wise when giving Marner 10 million a year.

      • Marner didn’t come through in the playoffs, so gets slightly less than Matthews and Marner. Nylander gets traded. They find a retirement home for Marleau, and are good to go.

      • Trade willy and Mathews thats right Mathews ..he is reallygood but injury bug is set in count on 65 games per annum from mathews and willy to be. Avtwenty goal scorer..keep Tavares and Marner

    • They can’t! Either he excepts long term at 9.5 or one of he or Mathews gets traded. I would trade Mathews now. You will get top players and prospects back and still be a contender next season

  4. Here comes an unpopular suggestion from a Wing and Oiler fan…..Keep Marner. Trade Matthews. Marner seems to be a Leaf through and through. Matthews, not so much. If Matthews was a Leaf lover, why didn’t he sign for 8 yrs? His heart truly doesn’t seem into it and, IMHO I think the Taveras signing left him feeling a little dejected.

    I wonder if Lou would take part is a swap…

    To NYI – Matthews
    To TML – Pulock, Bellows and Dobson

    As for my Oilers….I’m still shaking my head over the carnage Chia left behind. He makes Mike Milbury circa NYI GM look look good! But I sincerely think getting Mark Hunter would be a coup. And if Hitch wants out, then take a good hard look at Ralph Krueger again…or Dale. Dale would be awesome! I DON’T think that MH would have any time for the Old Boys and would like to right the ship his way. And I firmly believe he’s more than capable. Larsson? As Lyle indicated, he’s just getting crapped on because Chia traded Hall to get him. He brought some cap relief and some stability to the backend. However, Chia still frittered it all away with his brain breaking deals. Lucic’s cash would look much nicer in the form of an Eberle extension right now!

    • I would trade Matthews and Nylander to Edmonton for McDavid and Nurse.

      But would Edmonton?

      • Almost assuredly not Gary. Not only would the thought linger that Matthews is, in fact, looking at Phoenix (or another U.S. location) in a few short years when he reached UFA status. how does that help Edmonton’s current plight involving their back end?.

      • @Gary I think you`re looking more at McDavid, Russell, and Lucic going to Toronto for Nylander Matthews and a pick/prospect. This would help Edmonton with cap space and the expansion draft. Toronto could then either buy both Lucic and Russell out or eat enough of their contracts to move them to other teams. Edmonton gets 5 years to decide on what to do with Matthews. If Hunter gets the gm job in Edmonton

      • @ George and Bob

        Considering the situation Edmonton is in I could see them going for something like this for no other reason than changing the whole complexion of the team and of course Toronto gets another hometown boy to try and win with.

        I know its really out there but it honestly has a chance to be one of those hockey trades that helps both teams…potentially.

      • @Gary that`s why I said you`d have to add on by taking Lucic and maybe Russell. The dollars would have to be in Edmonton’s favour. If Hunter gets the gig in Edmonton watch out he`s a big fan of Nylander

      • Gary that’s like trading a Ferrari and a f150 for maybe a mustang and Volkswagen keep dreaming along with all the Toronto fans that McD will trade his orange and blue for white and blue

      • No

    • Matthews will outlast Babcock in Toronto. Nylander and/or Kadri will be traded, and the Leafs will probably have to throw in a pick or prospect along with Zaitsev to get a team to acquire him and his salary. Maybe Dubas will make it an interesting draft for Leafs fans with trades at the draft

      • mikep – re Dubas making it “an interesting draft for Leafs fans with trades at the draft” – somehow I don’t see him in the same mold as pure veteran hockey minds like Lamoriello, Poile, Rutherford etc., who, if getting a phone call at their table making a trade offer, have, can and will make immediate decisions based on their vast experience. Dubas, on the other hand, likely wouldn’t feel comfortable making such spur-of-the-moment decisions without first crunching the numbers.

      • Star players overwhelmingly outlast their coaches.

        It’s science.

        Duh.

    • Sure why not add Barzal and Walhstrom. Do not want Matthews. Will take chance in free agent market.

      • Lou would make that trade in a heartbeat. A second pairing defenseman a maybe and a nobody for Matthews. Barzal better be part of the deal and good luck with the free agency does the name Tavaras ring a bell

    • Trade Mathews lol never going to happen he’s your next captain

      • Not as long as Tavares is part of the team he isn’t.

  5. NJ GM SHERO should sign Hall to an extension, draft Hughes, then offer sheet Mitch Marner to a 7 x $12.5.

    He risks nothing by the offer sheets and gains everything.

    That would give them two elite wingers and two young #1 centers……for a LONG time.

    • Well, for a few short years anyway, until Hughes and Hischier (I assume that’s the other # 1 C you’re referring to) reach RFA status, both of whom will add considerably to the $12.5 you’re paying Marner and whatever substantial increase Hall will seek over his current $ bargain-basement $6 mil per. Then you’re in the same cap hell now faced by Edmonton, Toronto and a few others.

      • I see what you are saying George. My thought process counts for Zajac, Palmeri, Green & Schneider’s contract expired before the potentially dilemma occurs.

        Hischier will get a bridge deal in 2 yrs. He has not developed into an elite player that would , thus far, bypass a bridge deal.

        Zajac may not be resigned, unless on a very team friendly 1 or 2 yr deal. But would be play 3rd line center when NJ already has McLeod and Zacha on the team? I say they’d let him walk.

        Green is 36 and only has 1 more season left. He will perhaps be offered a 1 or 2 yr low team friendly deal…if even that.

        They have depth in their pipeline to make the #’s work.

        I honestly think they will be fine putting in an offer sheet for Marner.

      • Well, I was basing my comment on your assertion that the move would give NJ “two elite wingers and two young #1 centers…” – so, looking at their roster, the only other C they have who could remotely be regarded as a No. 1C would be Hischier. I know virtually nothing about his development in NJ but he was certainly elite in the Q with Halifax, and if you , indeed see him as a # 1 C, they don’t come cheap in today’s NHL.

    • This is why drafting is so important.

      Marner will get $11 to 11.5M. That means Kadri is gone and unfortunately Kapanen if Dubas sticks by his word not to trade Nylander.

      If the Isles lose too many pieces to UFA and fail to sign UFAs then Lou may look to add his Marleau signing to the team. That would only be luck, though.

      Zaitsev was also a terrible contract but it’s not untradable.

      It’ll be a very challenging situation, but if they can’t get it done by July 1 then we may finally see an offer sheet happen, yet it would be wiser to trade Marner for youth players and draft picks before that ever happens.

      UFA signings have consequences. Did this team really need Tavares?

      • Yes they did NEED Tavares. IF Matthews was the only center of consequence after what Kadri did TML would not have lasted even that long against BOS. Just IMO

        JT also helps MM be and even better player. JT helped Moulson, Okposo, Bailey and Lee elevate their game to a whole other level. Some failed without him…some yet to be seen. Marner is a stud on his own, but his potential just got raised to a whole other level WITH Tavares.

        I look at Jagr…..Jagr is elite…but his best years were WITH Super Mario.

  6. the leafs should trade gardner,zeitsev and kapanen to columbus for josh anderson and david savard. then they should trade nylander to edmonton for larson.they then will have 2 rd’s and money for marner plus sandpaper to help the boys win lord stanley’s cup.

    • And why would Columbus agree to that?

      • Especially since Columbus – assuming they want any part of Gardiner – could simply sign him as a UFA.

    • It is Marleau and Zaitsev’s contracts that hinder the speed at which Marner gets signed.

      Nylander, regardless of his contract size, is needed for bottom 6 scoring depth- along with Kadri. Against BOS in the last 2 yrs I cannot remember a memorable goal contributed by the bottom 6 if it was not Kadri, Nylander or Marleau.

      If they can find takers for Marleau (perhaps NYR for Vesey), and Zaitsev (good luck)….then cap space for Marner and perhaps even Gardiner is more readily solved.

      Perhaps AZ and TML make good trade partners. AZ has been known looking for wingers

      to AZ: Marleau & Zaitsev (young and signed for yrs)
      to TML: Hjalmarsson

      I do not think AZ will be extending Hjalmarsson due to his age, so they get a younger defenseman signed for several more years at a cheaper rate than Hjalmarsson.

      AZ also adds a veteran winger to help with scoring. Not a bad place to retire to the golf course. ( nice courses out there)

      TML gets the defensive minded RD partner for Reilly and ca space to sign Marner. TML can even hold some $ on Marleau’s if necessary.

      Win for both teams.

    • Agree George, just a tad one sided. Columbus is a team I would target though.
      Plenty of quality D depth, and suppose they don’t resign Panarin or Duchene and want to continue to compete. They will need offence.
      What would CLB want for Jones?
      Nylander and Kadri?
      Yes I know these deals never happen, but is the price right from either side?

  7. why would NJ commit to big bucks to Duchesne when we will be drafting Jack Hughes? Hischier/Hughes/Zajac/Zacha down the middle is solid, and NJ has bigger needs on defense and wing

  8. IHC, I get what you’re saying about the Devils offer-sheeting Marner,but I don’t think they can afford to give up all the top draft picks for him. Devils saw this year that the majority of the players in the AHL who played for them are not prospects. Blackwood will be in the NHL next season, possibly Ty Smith as well, but Boqvist is maybe the only other top prospect they have. Jury is out on Reilly Walsh, and if he’ll even sign with us out of college.

    even after taking Hughes, I still don’t think they can risk giving up top picks. We wouldn’t be able to trade for Marner because we don’t have what the Leafs would want

    • I think they is more the reason risking 1st for a bonafide player like Marner makes even more sense. That gives them Hall, Marner, Hischier & Hughes. They already have bottom 6 complimentary players like McLeod, Zacha, Woods, Cole etc…that can play that sort of style.

      This is the time it makes the MOST sense. They cannot risk being towards the bottom for much longer. They need to find ways to bring in revenue…this would certainly do it.

  9. If every 21-23 year old point a game or 30 goal player coming off their rookie deal is worth $10-11 million per season then what’s the point of restricted free agency anymore??? I smell a lock out brewing…

    • Edmonton did not help themselves or the NHL with McD+Leon skipping bridge deals. You cannot blame others following suit…. Did Jack Eichel deserve to get paid this quick?

      • No, I don’t think that Eichel contract was good precedent either, because he hadn’t broken 65 points even (I get he was a PPG player but staying healthy is also valuable in a player).

        That said, this isn’t in any way about paying players what they “deserve”, because if it was then remove the draft and just let every player be a UFA at age 18 when they enter the league. The whole point of this scheme is to give teams control of assets for 7-8 years while under paying them to various degrees. If guys are getting $11 million off their rookie deal, owners/management are gong to find a way to curb that trend. It’s all about protecting profit and exploiting their monopoly.

      • Nor did Dubas help the NHL with that massive up-front money to Tavares which 80% of the league simply can’t copy with UFAs.

      • Edm has no choice… certainly not with Conner.

  10. Here is a trade that I think would benefit both teams.
    Johnny Gaudreau for Taylor Hall.
    Both left wingers
    This would be attractive to NJ because Johnny is on a nice team friendly contract for the next 3 years and if they draft Hughes they could be a dynamic duo for years to come.
    The Flames get a bigger player that is harder to play against with speed.

    Although very unlikely I would also like the flames to go after Braden Point.

    • to be honest..if I were NJ i would do it in heartbeat BUT I think Johnny Hockey is the better player. He creates more space and offense more consistently. Both players are not really physical players by any means.

      JG is on a team friendly 6.4 m per deal while Hall is @ 6m for only 1 more season. He will command over 8.5 on his next.

      Hall last 3 season 53, 93, 37
      JG last 4 seasons 78, 61, 84, 99

      CGY would not be making the wise trade here. NJ & GM Shero would make this trade very quickly if called.

      • After the Flames failed to elevate their game in the playoffs I know Treliving will make changes. Johnny failed dramatically this year. I think there will be serious discussion who they can move to gain success in the playoffs.

        As I have been saying for a long time time Sam Bennet was the only forward to elevate. Sam is a stud

    • Gaudreau may excite the fans in NJ over the course of a long 82-game schedule, potting multiple goals and points in games where the opposition is weary and ready to mail in the 2 points, or in the midst of a general funk, but I can’t see Lou interested in a player like that who then spends most of his ice-time in the playoffs on his ass as he gets bounced around like the proverbial ping-pong ball.

  11. one thing for sure, this summer a will be the litmus test for Dubas. Either he finds a way to get creative and keep a strong nucleus while addressing a need to shore up the D corps and bottom 6 or he will face the scorn of the fans and media for years to come. Especially if players are lost to offer sheets with no return.

    • Dubas has already shown that he`s screwed everything up with the Nylander contract and waiting too long to sign Matthews and Marner. He also added to his problems by signing Johnsson to a 1-year deal now he`s a rfa with arbitration rights and coming off a good year to boot. He failed to add any depth at the trade deadline and he paid far too much to acquire Muzzin. Whom they probably won`t be able to resign just like Gardiner. Dubas has painted himself into a corner, just hope Shanny steps in before it`s too late

      • Is it Dubas or Dumas?

      • Not sure Casper but all I know is he`s not the boy wonder Shanahan made him out to be. Working within a group he seemed to be OK but on his own, he`s been nothing short of a disaster

  12. Toronto lost to Boston in 7 games last year, in the off season they signed JT for 7yr at $11m per and lost to Boston in 7 games.
    Did Toronto really need JT? who will be 29yrs old in Sept or was this an over thought of bringing another super star to Toronto? If the leafs didn’t have JT they could’ve focus more on their Blueline but instead they are trying to figure out how to dump Horton contract and trade Marleau.
    If the cap goes to $83m the leafs as presently stand will have $9m in cap space, that alone isn’t getting Marner signed.
    The sad reality for the leafs is the October opening night roster may not be as good as the roster that was on the ice for their game 7 loss.
    Maybe Toronto biggest trade chip is Kadri and considering shutdown dman generally cost a lot less then offensive dman that is where Toronto might have to look for value and if Edmonton wants to unload Larsson then Dubas should be on the phone to see if Kadri can get the deal done, if the cost is a little more he should still listen.
    If a Kadri for Larson deal could be done, it doesn’t solve the cap issues as they would almost be a saw off, Toronto would gain $300k. Be good if Toronto could add Marleau to the deal; however I don’t think Edmonton would want to use up $6m of their cap space on Marleau.
    Will be an interesting off season for Dubas who really created his own mess by buying a luxury he really didn’t need.

    • @Caper
      Signing JT was a good addition. Game 7 showcased their deficiencies on the backend and lack of depth scoring.

      14 million dollars on that third line is not smart money.
      Marner had 2 goals in 7 games and everyone is ready to sign him to an 11 million dollar offersheet.

      • ds that’s the point, they don’t have the money to address them deficiencies an extra $11m in cap space wouldn’t certainly help.

    • IMHO Tavares was a good signing, and should be the Captain. No drama, no excuses, just hard work and leadership by example, oh and 47 goals. If not him, then Reilly. I think Kadri, Johnsson and Brown could be moved. Kadri is now 29, does not fit into the style of the team (anger management) and at 4.5 is too much for a 3rd line player in any position. Same for Brown as a 3rd liner. I love Johnnson but with arb rights and a good year playing with Matthews will likely get more than he should or they can afford. They are stuck with Marleau at 6.25 unless they make him a “consultant” like Robidas. Leaves a top six of Tavares, Marner, Matthews, Hyman, Nylander and Kapanen. 3rd Line will have to be Marleau (if no other option), and low cost roster guys / Marlies and veterans. I think Leafs are actually one year ahead of where they thought or planned they would be, and it is having an effect. That said, if Babs does not change his way I believe he is canned for Sheldon Keefe. The playoffs were more his fault than the players he had to use, because he could have used all of them much better than he did.

      • Should be Same for Brown as a 4th liner

  13. Everyone talks about offer-sheet possibility for Marner – but all those 1st round picks is a hefty price to pay for ANY teams even if they could afford to take him on at $11.5 mil UP.

    I would think, if any GM wanted to squeeze the figure-filbert by rendering offer sheets, and bring in two young promising F, it would be to

    Kapenen 22 y/o with 20g 24a 44 pts after playing an average of 16:37 per game with 48 seconds of pp time per game

    and

    Johnsson – 24 y/o with 20g 23a 43 pts after playing 13:40 per game with 1:35 pp time per game

    Just remember the success Vegas has had by bringing in a passel of former 3rd/4th line players who, when given the chance to play Top 6 minutes, blossomed beyond expectations (e.g. Karlsson).

    • That is the point George Dubas will match any offer for Marner leaving them open to almost anything after that. There must be some rules regarding how many offer sheets a team can face. For obvious reasons a team can only make 1 offer sheet at a time, but is there a rule concerning how many offer sheets a team can make in a year. If there isn`t boy could 1 GM ever make a mess of a few teams salary structures

    • I’ll preface this comment by saying that I think Marner is the best player on the Leafs. However, I wonder if they would be better off to let a team offer sheet him and take the 4 first round picks. Then they could use the $10M(ish) that they would have paid him and sign defencemen. Karlsson will likely get around the same money. If that is the case it would be like trading Marner for 4 first rounders and Karlsson. First rounders are you future cheap talent, or can be traded to meet other needs.

      Leafs are better off letting Marner walk and taking the picks and cap space then over paying and having to destroy the rest of the roster.

      • Chris, you dump Nylander pay Marner.

  14. I could see NJ adding Gardner on the blue line.

    Crazy trade idea to free up cap space for the Leafs; package Zaitsev and Kapanen to Arizona for Galchenyuk and a 3rd or 4th rounder. Flip Galchenyuk for a 2nd or 3rd or even a mid range prospect. Arizona gets a serviceable 2nd pairing (albeit overpaid) defenceman and a younger faster winger. The Leafs would easily have enough room to add Marner and possibly a RHD in free agency (after moving some easier contracts (like Brown). I’d rather that scenario then moving Marner, Kadri or Nylander.

    • Dubas said i can and will sign Matthews Marner and Nylander, so two down one to go. How can he improve this team this year with top four D and fwd depth etc? Well as he sits he cant this year, not unless he pulls off a Brooks Orpik type deal like Wash and the Avs did involving Marleau. And Paddy has to agree to it which would mean landing back in Toronto or in San Jose after being bought out by a team that can absorb his $6.25 million hit, gets about 800 grand on the buyout and signs for a mill, 1.85 instead of the 1.25 salary he has left after July 1st 3 mill bonus is paid out. Good deal for him, for Toronto and if compensated properly, the buyout team as well. If that can’t be done and he doesn’t want to trade Nylander or Kadri, remembering that he told Tavares he wasn’t going to trade any of the core, i would expect a worse blueline than last year, less depth with one or both of Johnsson and Kapanen dealt , more Marlies brought in and a step back next year.

      • “Dubas said i can and will sign Matthews Marner and Nylander, so two down one to go.”

        That’s the easy part when you have money oozing out of every orifice. The hard part is then filling out the rest of the roster with players who can compete at the NHL level – and then keep the best of that lot as and when they reach RFA status while remaining within the cap limits.

  15. How about Wpg. Defence : Trouba, Meyers, Kulakov, Chariot where will they be next year? Should be in for big bucks

  16. Always fun to see the trade proposals from Leaf fans. We’ll trade you our unwanted trash for your two best players and a 1st round pick.

    Gardiner is UFA, why would anyone not named Chiarelli trade assests for someone you can sign for only dollars? Kadri is garbage, no team with playoff aspirations would risk taking on Kadri and his next suspension.

    Matthews for McDavid in any deal is a complete joke.

    • While I can’t disagree with a lot of what you’re saying Ron, I do when it comes to Kadri. Yeah, I know, being suspended two years in a row in the playoffs is a bit much – but he’s still young enough to learn to chill a bit and talented enough (back-to-back 30-goal seasons before being asked to play 3rd line duty by Babcock) to make him attractive to a lot of teams.

      As a comparison, I cite the suspension/fine record of Brad Marchand – and where would the Bruins be without him

      2 games for a March 2011 blindside elbow to the head of Umberger in Columbus – the same year he received a $2,500 fine for slew-footing Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen

      5 games for Jan 2012 low-bridging of Sami Salo of Vancouver

      2 games for Jan 2015 slew-footing of Rangers F Derick Brassard – the same year he was fined $5000 for his part that December in an altercation with Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog

      3 games, while wearing an “A” with the Bruins for the first time, for Dec 2015 clipping of Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki

      Fined $10,000 for Jan 2017 “dangerous tripping” of Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall – the same year he was suspended for the April nether-region spearing of TB’s Jake Dotchin

      5 games for Jan 2018 elbowing of NJ’s Marcus Johansson, the same year he was fined $2000 for diving in a March 2018 game in NY and $5000 for the April cross-checking of Philadelphia’s Andrew MacDonald

      • And by the way, Marchand clearly plays no favourites as the above transgressions came against 10 different teams!

      • Good point George.

        On any team but the Leafs, Kadri does not stand out. But because he is the only Leaf that plays with sandpaper he sticks out like a sore thumb. Probably frustrated too moving down the lineup.

  17. I cannot even understand how anyone contemplates signing Tavarres was a bad idea….it will allow the Leafs to trade one or both of the following Matthews, Nylander.
    I would not trade Kadri as his contract is good and he brings grit.

    Think before you sign Marner and not for 11 million. Giving absurd contracts to players coming off their ELC silly unless it really is a generational player. McDavid may be (but even he can’t drag the oil into the play offs) Matthews has not shown he is generational, neither has Marner. And fans better believe other players have a damn good idea of who is worth what.

    Signing Tavarres did not put the Leafs in cap problems it is what they did with Matthew and Nylander after the signing that did. But they easily have the assets to trade their way out of cap problems precisely because they have Tavarres under contract. Stop running in fear of offer sheets.

    A little bit of a non-sequitur but this team needs a Captain and too me it needs to be Tavarres ( maybe Rielly), but not Matthews, Marner, or Nylander.

    • Say what? Of course signing JT has but them in cap trouble. Has no barring that Dubas sign JT first, unless he completely forgot his roster was and whose contract was up.
      Did JT get them to the second round? Would’ve a better defense core have helped? Maybe, don’t know.
      Toronto opening day roster has the potential to not be as good as the roster that lost game 7.
      This is not to say JT is a good talent but questions on would Dubas have been better off investing elsewhere.

      • My point is they had to take advantage of Tavarres willingness to sign in Toronto so they could trade one of or a combination Matthews, Nylander, & Kapenen for defense and grit and not be weaker at the front end at the end of all the transactions but be stronger at the back end as they will have traded one of them for better D than they have.

        They have not made a trade after signing Tavarres instead Dubas is throwing statements like I can sign them all or I won’t trade you Willy. My point is that signing Tavarres levered them where they could trade scorers for D. They just have not done it.

        I did not include Marner as he unlike some of the other non-Canadian forwards seems to want to be here nor Kadri as his contract is so good even if his judgement isn’t and I think he at last has learned.

    • There’s a little Harold Ballard in you, OBD.

      • Unfortunately, Strider , there may ……..I wish I had sidekick with as many stories as King Clancy….imagine those 2 had a few they could tell….I don’t

      • OBD, wasn’t it Clancy who said you can’t beat ’em on the ice if you can’t beat ’em in the alley? Got me thinking about Tim Horton. A modern day Horton is exactly what the Leafs need.

      • Actually that was Conn Smythe

    • OBD, Auston Matthews is 21 years old, he is a centre who has scored 111 goals in 212 games, he can be a top-line centre and one of the top scorers in the league for fifteen more years. He could become a so-called “generational” player. He’s certainly a better player now than in his first year. I don’t understand what your problem is.
      Remember how Joe Thornton’s career started? Boston traded him in his eighth season; he has since played fourteen seasons in San Jose. You’re talking about trading a really good player after his third season – I just don’t get it.

      • I don’t have a problem with Matthews nor Kapenen I do with the possible cap investment in Marner and with Nylander) ..

        The real problem I have with the Leafs is the lack of talent ( other than Rielly, maybe Muzzin)) on D….the over investment of cap allotment on forwards and the seeming lack of anxiety about it on the part of management…

        The original issue was whether it was worthwhile signing Tavarres…..my answer was yes as it permitted the trade of a valuable forward for a valuable D man….

      • OBD, your point is well taken. If you can add an asset like Tavares and not give up anything, you are ahead on the ice and allows you to move other pieces and be better off than when you started.
        The but in this scenario is that now Dubas has forced his hand and needs to make a deal, Plenty of vultures will be circling and trying to leverage his inability to now be patient when trying to make a deal. He has to make one and will have to take less than market value. And not for Matthews, I simply cannot envision a world where they trade him.

      • And are the Leafs still farther ahead, yes. Just saying Leaf fans may be disappointed with the return for Nylander, or whomever they move.

  18. The Leafs aren’t that bad off cap wise.

    Tavares (11) Marner (11) Hyman (2.25) Mathews (11.634) Nylander (6.962) Johnsson (1.9/1yr contract) Kadri 4.5 Bracco (.8425) Marleau (6.25) Goat (.675) Petan (.775) Moore (.775)

    *Kapanen and Brown traded*

    58.5635 for 12 forwards

    Reilly (5) Muzzin (4) dermott (.863333) Rosen (.75) Liljegren (.894166) holl (.675)

    Sign a free agent like Stralman for 6milx5years

    18.182499 for 7 defencemen

    Andy (5) Sparks (.75)

    5.75 for 2 goalies

    21 man roster 82.495999

    Trading Zeitsev will be extremely hard, but if you package him with Kapanen it’s possible, trade Brown and this is an affordable roster without trading any of your young superstars.

    Note: when Marleau comes off the books in 2020 his cap space will be eaten by Dermott and Johnsson, so this roster could work for two years.

    • Yikes do you plan on winning any games with Rosen Holl and Liljegren on defence. Liljegren isn’t ready and Johnson has arbitration rights so you’re not getting him at 1.9 Bracco is a trade chip nothing more and no way in hell would you give Stralman that contract You forgot the 1.2 owed on the Kessel contract

      • Crap, forgot about the Kessel contract. Well then keep Zaitsev (4.5 plus Kessels 1.2) and no stralman (I had him at 6 cause free agents always get overpaid, and I think he’d play really well with Rielly)

        Its still worth noting that keeping Nylander, Marner, Mathews, Kadri and Tavares together is possible (even without moving Marleau) I’d still rather keep them all, even at the cost of having Reilly, Zaitsev, Muzzin, Lilj, Rosen and Holl next season. I spent years waiting for talent like this to be on my team, I appreciate how hard it is to get. It would be a big mistake selling off an elite talent like Marner under any circumstance. He’s irreplaceable. Just ask Edmonton how “well rounded” their roster got when they traded elite talent to plug holes. That’s all I’m trying to say.

  19. Leafs need to trade Mathews for a lesser centre and a stud D-man. Bruins could offer a D man like Carlo or McAvoy and Coyle or Krech or Backes. Leafs would have a stud young d man for the next 8 years and three pretty good centers with Tavares Kadri and Coyle. Most will say nowhere near enough but great 20 year old stud D men are not easy to find. Boston could afford to move one as they have some good prospects.

  20. I’ve read everybody’s comments & many posters
    make good points on the TML issues.

    Signing JT was not a mistake; nor was signing Matthews. Muzzin trade? 50/50. Nylander? Should have been either traded or forced to sit. Not worth it.
    Zaitsev, too much, and Marleau one year too long and both of these two signings are on LOU.

    Cap hell for TML? Yep..Like it or not, trading Kadri would be a mistake; as the team would quickly discover they need somebody just like him but with less brain farts and those type of players aren’t easy to acquire and they would cost you a lot.

    Jake Gardner? Time 2 Leave. The Fans Have Already Booed You Twice Now. Ron Hainsey? Less minutes, less dough, less term might work.

    Conner Brown? Nothing special there. Garrett Sparks? Nothing yet that impresses me BUT he’s got potential !

    Finally, Mike Babcock. A legend in his own mind to be sure but unless between now and mid summer, him and Dubas come to an outright line in the sand, he will back again next year BUT the scrutiny to succeed past the first round will be intense; and if he fails again, He’s gone.

    • If they don`t do a whole lot better next year Dubas and Babcock will be gone. This mess is basically on Dubas with some help from Lou. A year ago Maricin was the go-to guy if the defence had injuries and the world knew that had to be improved. So what did we have a year later an injury and Marincin was the go to guy again. Dubas has done little to improve anything in the last year if anything it`s gotten worse under Dubas

      • @ Bob: If Dubs does NOTHING concrete to improve the team after the cap issues are resolved, then perhaps he’s in hot water. He’s got a coach, he didn’t hire, throwing his weigh around; and none of that weight finds Dubas in a bad spot but Dubas has the hire/fire power.

        I don’t know…what I do know is that Dubas has a bigger leash than Babcock does; and truth be known, more players behind the scenes are wanking about Mike ; than they are about Kyle

      • @Joey Dubas was part of the management team that hired Babs so that`s not really true and the only player of any consequence that`s griped is Mathews the rest of them even talk like Babs. Ask Kadri what he thinks of Babcock he admits he owes his NHL career to Babcock. No the biggest mistake Shanahan has made is possible handing the reins to Dubas far too early. Too many costly mistakes already by Dubas he even admits it listen to his last press conference.

  21. Hey!

    Signing the best fa center in years for an under market contract is not now and never will be a bad idea!!!!

    What you do afterwards… another discussion

  22. @Bob: I heard Dubas take full responsibility for his actions; or lack of, and I heard Babcock take no responsibility.
    As for Dubas being part of that decision process for Babcock, ya, but when you are a rookie and your boss wants to hire Babcock, what are going to say?
    Lou was mentoring so again, even if Dubas thought the signings of Zaitsev and Marleau were flawed, what’s he going to say to the guy who’s mentoring him?

  23. I would choose Mathews over Marner any day. How many years has Toronto been looking for a generational talent like him after sundin left. Winger are a dime a dozen. Marner needs to gain at least 20-25 pounds to be ready for next years playoffs

  24. I think like Chad. Marner should gain some muscles for better performance. I think even 15 pounds have a huge impact on him.