NHL Rumor Mill – June 1, 2021

by | Jun 1, 2021 | Rumors | 85 comments

The Leafs face an interesting summer after another first-round exit plus the latest Seth Jones speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski believes Toronto Maple Leafs management shouldn’t panic and make any rash moves following yet another first-round playoff exit. He points to how the Washington Capitals got sent into “a philosophical crisis” for several seasons after falling to another underdog Montreal Canadiens squad in 2010.

Could Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner become a trade candidate this summer? (NHL Images)

Wyshynski feels the Leafs’ window of opportunity remains wide open. He suggests they rethink their supporting cast by opting instead for players with speed, rather than bring in those with experience as they did this season. He also proposes they look to this summer’s trade and free-agent markets for someone to share the goalie duties with Jack Campbell.

Of their eight unrestricted free agents, Wyshynski believes they’ll bring back Zach Hyman given his contributions to the first line.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox wondered where the Leafs go from here. He thinks forwards Hyman and Jason Spezza are worth re-signing, as well as defenseman Zach Bogosian if he’d accept another one-year, $1 million contract. They could lose center Alex Kerfoot to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

If the affordable Campbell ($1.65 million) remains their starting goalie, Fox believes general manager Kyle Dubas will have sufficient cap space to assemble a new supporting cast around their star players.

THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel doesn’t see the Leafs trading Auston Matthews. John Tavares’ no-movement clause takes him off the table as well. That leaves Mitch Marner and William Nylander. While both would fetch considerable returns, they would be difficult to replace on the roster.

NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Brian Witt wonders what the future holds for former San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton after his quest to win the Stanley Cup this year with the Leafs fell short. Thornton turns 42 on July 2 and becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Witt wonders if he’ll retire or return for a 24th NHL season. If he can’t land with another Cup contender, perhaps he’d consider returning to the Sharks if they approached him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Wyshynski. Leafs management must avoid overreacting in this situation. They still have a talented core of mostly young talent to reload around and try again next season. They should build up the speed and skill among their forwards and defense, and bring in a reliable backup for Campbell.

Cap Friendly indicates the Leafs have almost $69 million invested in 14 players next season. They’ll get an additional $3.5 million if Kerfoot is selected by the Kraken. Should re-sign Hyman, Spezza and Bogosian to affordable deals, they’ll still have to go bargain hunting to address their needs through trades and free agency.

Trading Marner or Nylander could help to address some of the Leafs roster needs. As Siegel pointed out, however, moving either guy will create another roster issue to address.

Thornton has probably played his final NHL game. His lack of speed was apparent against the Canadiens and I don’t think he can be effective over a full 82-game schedule. I understand his desire to win a Stanley Cup, but I don’t see him landing with a contender now. I also doubt the Sharks will bring him back for a last hurrah after seeing how diminished Patrick Marleau was this season.


SI.COM/THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin examined several possible trade destinations for Seth Jones after the defenseman informed the Columbus Blue Jackets he intends to test next summer’s free-agent market.

He feels the best hockey fits would be the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, and Winnipeg Jets, with the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils as possible sleepers. The Los Angeles Kings could be the best all-around fit for Jones, though he plays the same side on defense as Drew Doughty.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports two clubs reached out to Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen after the news broke over the weekend of Jones’ intentions. He expects Kekalainen to receive a flood of calls this week from other clubs. The Kings could be the early favorite. Portzline expects the Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens could be major players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: An elite defenseman available in the trade market doesn’t happen every summer. Jones will draw plenty of interest but it’ll come down to which teams have the depth in tradeable assets and the cap space to potentially sign him to a new contract. Indeed, Jones’ willingness to sign an extension with the acquiring club could be the key factor determining his trade destination.

The Kings certainly seem the best fit in that regard but they could prefer adding a top-four left-side defenseman unless Doughty or Jones is willing to play second-pairing minutes. The Blackhawks would have the cap room once they work out the long-term injury reserve gymnastics for all-but-retired Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw.

The Canadiens have plenty of draft picks, prospects and promising youngsters to draw upon for trade bait but I don’t see them pursuing him unless he commits to a long-term extension. With over $69 million invested in 18 players, they can afford his current $5.4 million cap hit but it would leave them overcrowded on the right side with Shea Weber and Jeff Petry already there.


  1. Same President, same GM, same coach, same roster of marshmellows, same results. How can anyone be surprised.

    The Leafs play pond hockey. Great for the regular season, great for padding personal stats. Once the playoffs start and the checking tightens Torontos creampuffs dont have the will to battle through.

    Campbell wasnt the starter in Dallas, he wasnt the starter in LA. How in Hades did Dubas and Keefe think acbackup goalie was going to win a playoff series let alone a Cup?

    Guess its all Freddie Andersens fault.

  2. Seems like only a year ago that Leafs fans where screaming that team was soft and needed size. They traded away Kapanen. Now they want speed and skill? Their biggest need in that series was a healthy Tavares. Agree they shouldn’t over react. Cup is still hardest championship to win. It’s a grind and staying healthy is sometimes the biggest factor. Add to that, a goalie like Price. Criticize all you want about his salary, but he’s still capable of stealing games.

    • I was on here calling Price’s contract an immoveable boat anchor but I take that back and then some. He was worth every penny in that series…

      I agree with Slick – we just shed “speedy (albeit smaller) skilled forwards – they can’t go back there. It’s all good to want to play a puck possession style of game but you need to have the grit and grinders that have the testicular fortitude to be able to re-possess the puck in the event that you lose it. I saw a lot of chasing and scrambling – like a year ago against the Blue Jackets.

      A Cup-Winning-Caliber tender not only doesn’t let that Gallacher goal in but steals a playoff game per round. Campbell has been a good story but I don’t think Shanny & Dubas hedge their playoff bets on him again… Pretty hard to just go out and get a bonafide Playoff proven goalie though… I would think they’d have to move Marner to do it both “hockey trade-wise” and fiscally…

      Probably a very different series with a healthy Tavares – that “1B” line with JT, Willy and Galy were clicking and dare I say even dominant before he went down – but – that’s hockey and you gotta persevere. Again – like Slicker said – it’s the hardest championship to win…

  3. Gallagher”s goal was a soft 5 hole.Wasn’t even really trying to score and putting it on net

    Marner worth every penny for 4 assists. How many post season goals?

    Hyman although a useful NHL player is NOT a first line winger. Couldn’t put the puck in the ocean. What did he have last night 6 grade A’s.
    Next year will not be any easier than this season. Back with Boston & Tampa

    • I agree SilverSeven, the media jumped all over Johnny Gaudreau for his post season performance where he put up 7pts in 10games with a $6.75 million cap hit. He looked like a great deal compared to Marner’s no goals & 4 assists at $10.9 million aav and Matthews 1 goal & 5 points with his $11.6 million aav. Will the Toronto media call for these two to be traded? Lest any Leafs fans think I am a hater, I don’t mind the Leafs or their fans. I just have no use for the Toronto sports media.


    oops, did I say that in my out loud voice?

    • The habs have about as much a chance of advancing in the next round as I do winning skating race with Connor Mcdavid.

      • The horse might sing. That’s why they play the games. Patrick Roy isn’t a ghost yet, nor Dryden, but Montreal keepers can do strange things in the dead of night.

  5. The Habs need a a quality player with grit.

    It was lost on me why after half a game where they couldn’t generate much no one on that leaf roster would jam prices crease. Risk a goalie interference call. Sand on top of price and make it difficult for him. Take the cross checks and jam that puck in.

    The leafs have no one that can do this.

    Gallagher and Perry scored the first two goes for the Habs. The thing these two have in common is grit. Though Gallagher’s was far from the crease when he scored.

    The leafs should not panic but they should not allow the optics of a panic move to prevent them from making a major change.

    Talk with Calgary. Offer up Marner and a pick. Pry Tkachuk away.

    Go after Kadri from Colorado. Bring him back.

    Speed matters in the league but size still does as well. The recent Stanley cup champs have proven Size and Speed is what you want in players.

    • Sorry. Got fingers confused. The leafs need the grit. Silly me. Rushing a post while at break at work.

      • Jeff, why would Calgary take a $10.9 mil F who hasn’t contributed ONE goal in 18 playoff games? It stands to reason that, if he’s a playoff dud for Toronto, he isn’t suddenly going to become Rocket Richard for someone else. As Old Blue Dog noted in another thread, he gets bounce around like a helium-filled balloon. Calgary already has one of those. Why would they give up a character player like Tkachuk for another?

        There are teams that might like a Marner for seasonal success but not at close to $11 mil per.

  6. all class and dignity….

  7. I think an over reaction may not be necessary but a measurable reaction certainly is.
    Another year where the defense wasn’t the issue. For a team with such high end talent up front, or so we are told, its not really acceptable that they lost the way they did.

    The lack of depth on the roster showed.
    The inexperience of the coach showed.
    The lack of a plan B showed.
    The lack of urgency showed.

    Been saying for a while that Nylander is just fine given what he gets paid, instead the Leafs should trade Marner. Unfortunately, now is not the time since his stock is low.

    Someone has to go to show the fans that management cares, Dubas is great with the cap, he should be demoted to an analyst position should he wish to accept.
    The identity of the team needs work. The high flying offense identity is clearly misplaced as they don’t deliver on it.
    Dubas better have set his alarm for 9:00 am today
    to call Kekalainen to see what he needs added to Marner to get Jones and Atkinson.

    Just like most Leafs fans I’ll be back next year to cheer them on regardless of what they do this offseason, would just be nice if they accept that what they are doing is absolutely NOT working

    • Dubas and the Leafs dont have enough expansion eligible forwards right now. They are going to have to sign 2 forwards that are expansion draft eligible. I am sure that will be a couple of guys that are destined for the AHL, but still that is something they will have to do immediatly.

    • Taz lack of depth = too much money tied up in 4 players
      Keefe lack of experience he`s slow to learn and adapt. Montreal adapted to what Toronto did Keefe didn`t plain and simple. Using Thornton in game 7 after seeing 6 games where he was totally useless (Babs is still laughing his head off). Most coaches would`ve separated Marner and Matthews even for a game or 2 to try to get them going Keefe????. How many games has the PP been terrible yet everytime it`s been basically the same. Montreal cut the cross ice pass off in game 1 game 7 Toronto still trying it. Dubas trades a 1st and a 4th for an injured Foligno (Dubas knew of the injury at the time of the trade) A 5th for Hutton come on man.
      This disaster is more on Toronto`s bad coaching and management. Time for a change Keefe Shanny and Dubas need to go, new management will want a year to evaluate but time for a new approach the Shanaplan is dead

    • Taz, as I say to Jeff Noel’s suggestion that the Leafs should send Marner to Calgary for, among others, Tkachik, why would Columbus take on an almost $11 mil F who hasn’t scored one measly goal in 18 playoff games? 3 or 4 games for someone at that cap hit, maybe can be rationalized – but EIGHTEEN? It can’t all be attributed to bad bounces, goalposts, lucky saves. Yeah, if a team sees a Marner as a prime ingredient to GET them into a playoff position he could be a commodity for trade – but not at almost $11 mil per. Toronto would have to hold at least $4 mil.

      • Well I agree with you George Marners trade value isn`t great right now because of his cap hit but eating 4 mill per is too much I can see 2.5 to 3 maybe depending on the return and if you wait till after next years bonus is paid Marner salary is only 750000 and 8 mill for the last 3 years

  8. 1. Trade Kerfoot back to Colorado for Kadri. Throw in a sweetener.

    2. Teach Nylander positional defensive hockey. Pick an opponent to cover like they teach you in pee wee.

    3. Bring in John Tortorella.

    Yes I said it.

    • To be honest, not a Torts guy BUT if the Leafs could not score doing fancy dangles he CERTAINLY will teach them how to chip & chase and how to play a playoff style hockey.

      Let the team stay creative BUT chip & chase during the playoffs and grinding down low is how Islanders and Boston have been winning.

      Gotta learn to adapt styles. TML got pushed around down low. Speed helped them get to the puck and skate but when it came push to show they got man handled.

    • Colorado is already going to be in a crunch with Landy UFA and Makar extension. I doubt they will be taking on salary.

  9. Not sure of the Leaf’s expansion plans/restraints. To me Kerfoot was as uch of a menace on the ice as Nylander was on the score sheet. That guy gave me fits as a Habs fan. More than either Mattews or Marner. I chalk that up to Danault’s play rather than those two as players. Other than Muzzin, the Leaf’s D did not really stand out to me. I think the Leaf’s D really does need a rethink. It will be interesting to see how thinks go when the flat-cap ends.

  10. I’m not sure if Dubas ever played hockey but Shanahan has. Analytics is like reading a book. It all sounds good in theory. You don’t need advanced analytics to come up with the following issues:

    1. Power play not working for half the year doesn’t get resolved on its own. There’s a problem there. You don’t put a pot on the bottom of a dripping pipe. You need to fix the pipe. Who’s to blame: special teams coaching staff, the coach who sits by and allows it to continue, GM who allows it, President who defers to the GM who defers to the coach, who defers to the special teams coaching staff, who defers to players who carry eggs in their pockets. Entitled young adults who likely listen to Taylor Swift to pump themselves up.

    2. Too much passing. Looks pretty. Great possession game. Works well in tennis or badminton. Eventually teams wise up and let the Leafs engage in this exercise in futility knowing the passes eventually get slower, nobody is willing to get in front of the net, the point men never shoot and the shots are soft and always on the outside. Who’s at fault? Everyone except John Tortorella who would remedy this problem quickly while Dubas studies analytics and Shanahan stands behind him.


    1. Top 4 power play specialist. Either break in Sandin or trade for a legitimate pp point who can shoot the puck.

    2. Ship out Andersen as they can’t afford him. Get a reliable backup for Campbell.

    3. Strip Tavares of the captaincy. Slow and soft. Overpaid. Of the fab 4, he’d be the most likely to have numbers decline with each passing year of his contract.

    4. Sign Hyman, Bogosian, Spezza to team friendly contracts if possible.

    5. Trade Kerfoot, Dermott and prospect or draft pick to Colorado for Kadri.

    • Frank, Tortorella’s a power play guy? Don’t think so.
      Tavares slow and soft? Don’t think so.
      Ship out Andersen?Andersen’s a free agent.
      You got one right, Frank -#4 actually makes sense.
      You’re joking about #5, right? I can see Colorado moving Kadri but he’s not coming back to Toronto. We definitely need another solid centre – Kerfoot’s good on the wing.
      I’d like to see Bruce Boudreau behind the bench next year. Post-game press conferences would be much more fun.

      • Plus why would Colorado want Dermott – and they already found Kerfoot to be expendable. They have far better options in their system. If they do trade Kadri somewhere it will be for a far better package than that – warts and all.

    • Frank, DeAngelo will be a cheap ufa add once Rangers buy him out. Pp QB. Is he worth the risk?

    • Trade Marner and Reilly and build a team with with size and speed on2nd third and fourth lines. Add some size to defence and a power play QB. Get a power play coach, with their talent they should have scored a lot more power play goals.

  11. Here come the Nylander trades – for god sake trade Marner – no heart and not built for playoffs.

    Marner cap hit is huge about 4 mil more than Nylander and anyone saying Nylander was worse than Marner is not a true fan.

    Campbell is getting a lot of hate on here. He can be a number 1A – find a 1B and lets move on.

    • ” … Marner – no heart and not built for playoffs …”

      Not disagreeing – 0 goals in 18 playoff games is self-evident of that – but why would ANY team then take on that cap hit for someone who disappears when it comes to playoff production? And give up something to boot?

      Some team may see him as the type needed to get them into a playoff situation – but Toronto would need to hold back $4 mil of that cap hit.

      • There was a guy last year who only played 5 shifts and scored more goals than Mitch Marner has in 18 playoff games. He is a leader, a Stanley Cup Champion and makes 3 Million less than Mitch makes. This is the kind of player the Leafs sorely lack as the leadership they have doesn’t seem to be of the quality or have the ability to get this team to actually be a team. A group of great players lost to a TEAM of players in my opinion, nothing more nothing less.

  12. Remember when Mike Babcock was trying to teach the Leafs to play a more playoff style of hockey and toughen up the roster and got fired for it because little Mitchells feelings got hurt?

    Replaced a Gold Medal Stanley Cup winning leader with a pond hockey coach.

    Hows that working out for yah?




    • What sort of success were the Leafs having with Babcock? Babcock was set in his ways and refusing to change anything about his style, you may not recall this.
      Was the wrong hire made? With hindsight, yes, but that doesn’t mean Babcock was the answer?

      How is it working out? I think you know already. Anyone is an expert with hindsight.

      What’s your point?
      Or is this the only satisfaction you find in your daily routine; come to a forum and spew hate to get a relief from you miserable existence?

      • Bitter much?

        Your post is almost as soft as the Leafs roster.

      • Of course I’m bitter, clearly not a great day for Leafs fans. I wouldn’t quite pat your own back for notating the obvious or for your ability to ask rhetorical questions.
        Unfortunately, your recollection of Babcocks’ tenure isn’t as polished as your trolling skills

  13. Bring on year 8 of the Shanascam, oops I meant Shanaplan.

  14. I wish our resident “insider” was around to explain his “linear thinking” and “difference makers” theories.


    • Bueller ?

    • Someone might need to check up on Wendel, his absence is noticeable lol.

      • I think he might have gotten the boot.

    • Where’s Wendel?

      Anyone check the CNN Tower?

  15. Leafs:
    Shanahan – Fired
    Dubas – Fired
    Keefe – Fired

    Mark Hunter – Hired as GM
    John Torterella – Hired as head coach 5 yr contract

    End of the Shanascam and the Charmin soft pond hockey.

    • Have we not noticed the pattern happening in Columbus under Torts?

      Once again another talent has had enough of him and the team and is moving on.

      IMO, he would destroy the talent on this roster.

      From an outsiders point of view, the supporting cast was slow in woefully ineffective. Montreal was able to focus all their energy on stopping one line. After JT went down they were in trouble.
      A simple lack a depth with quality players with speed, not experience, and heart are what is missing.
      But hey, that’s just a former Sabres fans opinion.

      • Os, your opinion is shared by another outsider….

      • Couldn’t agree more Oss regarding how the series played out.
        Habs had a simple game plan and Keefe didn’t have a plan B let alone plan C

      • The Lightning have a great AHL coach whose road up is blocked…..
        Look at the roster of kids who have come up and fit right in with the Bolts, and their cap casualties
        (Marshessault, Vergahe, Foote)…guy can get players to play.

    • Hey Ron, How’s that guy the Leas fired so that Dubas could become GM making out?

      Lou something?

      • Oh yeah – the “dinosaur” … can’t compare to the new wave of “figure filbert” GMs can he? Oh, wait …

      • You mean the Islanders GM? Last time I checked he was doing just fine.

        Even without Johnny its not about the money Tavares.

        Just for fun, how many series have the islanders won since they hired Lou? How many have the Leafs won since they let Lou go?

        Bonus round: How many series have the Islanders won since Johnny big buck Tavares left? How many series have the Leafs won since signing local superstar Johnny show me the money Tavares?

        just like the Leafs you got no game son, lol.

      • Ron, nevinsrip is an Islander fan and was being sarcastic.
        Might want to work on your own game.

    • Hunter – yes. Torts? No way. Players tune him out so fast. If you had a team of grinders and not enough talent then Torts could be an option but with The Leaf’s lineup? TML would be where Columbus is in two years. Torts can make a guy like Foligno worth a 1st round pick and a guy like Laine absolutely invisible… Not saying his way is right or wrong but with the roster the TML’s already have it would just accelerate the need to rebuild from zero…

      Marner needs to stop worrying about shooting insurance commercials and start learning to shoot the puck. Unless he’s trying out for CCCP’s ala 1974 those fancy little extra passes have worn our their welcome with Leaf fans…

  16. Marc Bergevin may ask about Jones considering he was with Weber in Nashville when he started his career. I expect Bergevin will also take a long look at Nugent-Hopkins to try and get that big #1 center that’s eluded him. As for The Leafs I agree don’t panic, they’re an elite team now and need some major tinkering but only because their salary cap is handcuffed and being chewed up by 4 contracts. Some smart math and juggling and they can be a legitimate contender. Until then; GO HABS GO!!

    • Let’s be honest….. if NOT for Price MTL would be out. He is their MVP this round. He made some amazing saves and made TML top players question themselves.

      • Last I looked, goalies are part of every team and that’s what they’re paid to do – stop the puck. He just happens to do it better than most when the chips are on the line. And, without any $10 mil + Fs, Montreal scored more goals when it counted.

      • I’m a die hard Leaf fan and the one thing the Leafs do better then almost anyone is to make goalies look impressive. They need to actually learn to aim for the openings and not the goalie. When the Leafs play teams almost always the opposition goalies look like super stars even if they loose.

      • Come on David. that is just sour grapes. Just one example. Petry hit Campbell’s glove with a shot late in the game. But Campbell gets credit because he was in the right position with good technique. The same can be said for many saves each game by the goalies. Sometimes they don’t even see the shots. A save is a save.

      • Is that you? 😍

    • If I’m the Habs GM, I am exploring what the Nucks plans are for Virtanen.

      Although he is another right hand shot, would he make for a great winger to pair with Anderson & Kotkaniemi to make that big heavy line that can skate. They would be expected to carry the load, yet could cause damage on any given night. Resign Danault & Armia

      I look at four rotating lines, any of which could carry the load any given night in no particular order;

      Suzuki, Toffoli, Caulfield – cerebral offensive talent

      Kotkaniemi, Virtanen, Anderson – big, heavy skating line with offensive ability

      Danault, Byron, Armia – cerebral defensive with the ability to chip in offensively

      Evans, Poehling, Gallagher – tenacious, gritty line causing chaos with the ability to score.

      No one line needs to carry the load.

      • Virtanens most likely going to be bought out by the Nucks or have his contract voided under the personalmconduct clause with a lengthy NHL suspension to follow.

        Turns out no is actually supposed to mean no.

      • Allegations are much different from a conviction.

        If proven to be true, then he should be suspended by the league.

        That said, even if he is not found guilty, I believe his days as a Nuck is over.

      • Uwey: No thanks at all. Virtanen has been an underperformer his entire career with questions about his commitment to fitness.

        Add that to the accusation that he sexually assaulted a woman, the guy is radioactive.

        Not a chance.

      • LJ,

        Accusation, no charges laid as of yet.

        Are labelling someone without conviction???

        As I said, I would be exploring what the Nucks plans are for him. Nothing will be happen until the investigation is complete.

        What ever happened with the allegations about Panarin???

        As far as being an underperformer his entire career, is all of 24 years old grant it he has been in the league since he was 18 years old, I suspect a change wouldn’t hurt him. He has one year left on his current contract, but will only be an RFA next summer. At $2.55 mill it is worth the gamble, IF, the allegations are proved unfounded.

        I suspect Drouin has played their last game for the Habs being of his choice, nor do I suspect Tatar will be resigned. Staal & Perry will need to be replaced.

        Regardless of how far they may go or not, remaining stagnant next season is not a winning recipe. That said, there is not much available this summer that is worth a gamble of being a steal.

        Anderson was a gamble that turned out reasonably well this season.

  17. I’m not sure that RNH is the number one that people claim him to be. I see him as a number 2, and the Canadiens do not need a number two. I would think that they would try again at resigning Danault and look look at trading/signing a left-winger and maybe go after a defenseman. They may even make a trade with Seattle to keep Allen.

    This was another rough exit for the Leafs, but I won’t pretend to be an expert on them.

    It’s funny how sports work: one minute, writers and professional hockey prognosticators will say that the Habs are going one direction and the Leafs are moving up, and now the same experts are saying the exact opposite. Price may not be worth 10.5, but if I needed to win one game, he’d be my guy. This will be a fascinating off season and rest of the playoffs.

  18. After seeing Hyman in the playoffs I hope NYR do not go after him in Free Agency. Did not look like he elevated his teammates when it was needed most.

    • IHC, if I’m Rangers, I’m looking at a couple guys on other bench. Danault and Armia.

    • I think Hyman was playing hurt. He’s much better than he showed. Some team’s going to get a good player in Hyman – don’t think it will be the Leafs.

      • Look for Hyman to be playing with his buddies Connor Brown and Nikita Zaitsev next season.

  19. I sincerely feel for TML fans. That is a bitter pill to swallow. As a CBJ fan I am selfishly happy that the 1st rd pick for Foligno will be higher than I anticipated as we can use all the luck w/ assets we can get with the heavy lifting ahead for Jarmo this summer. Serious question to leafs fans, if CBJ go rebuild and trade vets what would a CBJ-TOR deal centering on Korpisalo and Atkinson realistically bring?

    • IMO Columbus would get a better return for Atkinson and Korpisalo from the Oilers than the Maple Leafs. 😉

  20. I wonder about the mechanics of a Johnny Hockey for Willie Nylander swap. Certainly it would have to be contingent on Johnny signing an extension with the Leafs…and perhaps the Flames taking back something else to balance out the salary differential between Nylander’s $7M and whatever a Johnny Extension looks like.

    • Its not looking good, Nylander’s contract isn’t an issue.
      Toronto is not the spot for JG

  21. “I concur with Wyshynski. Leafs management must avoid overreacting in this situation. They still have a talented core of mostly young talent to reload around and try again next season. They should build up the speed and skill among their forwards and defense, and bring in a reliable backup for Campbell.”

    That’s all well and good to say, but how do you suggest they actually do that without making significant changes?

    Look at their expiring contracts, it’s all the small ones. The only two significant contracts that are expiring are Hyman and Rielly, and they’re both due a raise. Maybe they can use most of Hyman’s salary to keep Rielly around, but now the D is simply as good as it was last year and the F are weaker, and the Leafs only have enough salary cap space to pay about a million per spot to fill out the roster.

    Where does the improvement come from?

    They need to make changes if they want to improve.

    Shanahan should be on the phone with Jarmo talking about Marner or Nylander for Jones+.

    • Jones plus? That’s funny. Secondly, is Jones going to resign a huge deal in Toronto? Doubtful. He’s either going home to Dallas or out west to LA or Anaheim. St Louis also possible. Blue Jackets won’t keep him in their conference. He’s too good.

      • “Jones plus?”

        Yes, Jones plus. Of course Jones plus.

        Yes, Toronto gets a one-year rental who has already made his intentions to test free agency known.

        Marner is 24 years old and is a point-per-game player who has four prime years on his contract. Not to mention that if CBS were to try and sign a Marner-level UFA they’d be overpaying anyway.

        Not to mention that the entire league knows that Jones is going to free agency in a year so Columbus is dealing from a position of weakness, as usual.

        Columbus has to trade Jones or they lose him for nothing, Toronto doesn’t have to trade Marner. There are plenty of options for putting up on the trade block and many partners with which they could make a fair trade.

        So yes. Of course it’s Jones plus.

        I don’t have a dog in this fight. I don’t care for CBS and I laughed all night long about Toronto getting eliminated.

        “Secondly, is Jones going to resign a huge deal in Toronto?”

        No, he’s not. That’s why it’s Jones plus.

        Jones is a one-year rental for Toronto. They get him for one year and then he probably chases the mony.

        That’s why it’s Jones plus.

        If Toronto puts Marner on the block he’s absolutely, 100%, without a shadow of a doubt going to bag more than a one-year rental in return. If you don’t think so, I don’t know what to tell you. There would be a line around the block for teams looking to acquire Marner. Sure, there would be low-ball offers because all GMs want to win trades, but there would also be teams throwing all their riches at Toronto.

        Same thing would happen with Jones, except it would only be teams with playoff aspirations and every single offer would be a low-ball because they know they’re likely only getting Jones for a year.

      • Not sure CLB has any interest in Marner at $11M. If Jones leaves, I’m thinking it is rebuild time in CLB and an $11M investment in Marner doesn’t make sense. Leafs don’t have the young assets or picks to beat the competition for Jones.
        Marner is a good player, but significantly overpaid with a flat cap. Not sure trades for that without Leafs eating $$.
        The Leafs best 2 trade chips out of the big 4 are Matthews and Nylander, but that is why they want to keep both of them as they are trying to win.

        Dubas and the Leafs expected the cap to go up and without a pandemic it would have, significantly, especially with the new TV deal.
        I didn’t see anyone on here predicting that either so perhaps the criticism is a little harsh.
        This team would have looked much different with another few mil to spend, and even more this upcoming season.
        Now he has to adjust on the fly, trade one of the big $$ guys, or wait it out and keep trying with the same core. I would bet on the latter.

    • I think you are on the money, Garth. 1/2 of the Leafs cap space is spent on 4 players. I have no idea why anyone thinks that adding speed and skill can be had at the discount bin. It’s not lying around with a Leafs Special Two for One tag on it. For all Dubas’ cap manipulation he got Simmons and Thornton. What more needs to be said?

      Along with others I can’t see how they can get out of their dilemma. Matthews is untouchable, Tavares has a NMC, no one is going to take Marner at nearly 11 million in a cap flat world, and Nylander was the most productive.

      Dubas must have counted on a rising cap to free up quality support, which now has him in a choke hold. There is no quick fix, no quick out, irrespective of the young core, which is actually just three forwards. Tavares is at 30 not past it, but how old will he be by the time the cap goes up enough to make a difference?

      • Garth in theory you are correct but the premise that Columbus is going to have to add assets to move Jones in that type of deal. Jones is clearly worth less as a one year rental but take into consideration that Marner is clearly worth less as an 11 million dollar player in a flat cap era coming off a horrible playoff. The bottom line is for that deal to be made it would mean that both Columbus and Toronto were desperate. A more likely scenario is that Columbus facilitates a deal to a team out west that Jones is comfortable with and signs an extension. Columbus can then reap the rewards of a prime package of assets. Marner can then be potentially offered to a team as a final piece of the puzzle while the team that acquires him also gives the Leafs a prime package of assets that also alleviates their cap situation.


  22. Of course Jones will be signing a long term deal in any trade because it will be a contingency, that’s the way trades work unless you want a rental. Agents and teams talk to each other directly or indirectly. For example both Domi and Anderson signed new contracts within days of their trade. I think CBJ can get Nylander and Sandin plus in a trade for Jones.

  23. Not a fan of Leafs, but Marner just turned 24 and has 25 points in 32 playoff games. Don’t hate on him cause Dubas gave him that contract. He’s a guy that drives offense from wing. He’s not a 30/40 goal scorer.

    • No, he’s not noted for that – but 0 goals in 18 playoff games? Just by default you’d think one would bounced in off his ass or leg along the way. T hat stat is mind-boggling in conjunction with what he’s being paid. You don’t get close to $11 mil just for your assists record.

      • Hey George you have to consider that most fans here do not have a young super star player… ie a player who’s consistently over a point per game player who’s just turned 24 on their team… having said that, if your team had such a player 4th over points in the season and regularly above ppg player and only 24 what do you think your GM should do?

        Is it time to give up on him? Nylander like Marner are offense first players so I dont look at these players and expect them to be defensive studs, just doesn’t exist in that combination. Nylander just turned 26 this past year and there hasn’t been a lot of dumb talk about him especially after this series (unless you’re really special). Right now it would be foolish to trade any of them but something needs to happen, I don’t know what exactly the right path is in this scenario is.

        The of season as you mentioned, the Leafs have 18 ufa/ rfa’s and on the Leafs seriously no one here thinks Anderson is coming back, thats $5M right there… true that might go to Hyman so that will free up his $3.5ish, add in Kerfoot being traded or selected – I cant see them holding on to him for that price otherwise serviceable player, the Thorton’s, Spezza’s (maybe) and Simmonds are gone, thats another $3m, Riely is someone they should move and free up another $5M… in short there are many ways to skin this cat.

        More time is needed to really see what’s there and what needs to be done. I have no idea right now given how hard it is to have players like him. He is over priced but only by about $1-2M really.

        I just wonder where this axe will fall. It has to come down and come down hard.

  24. Marner is good but if he cant produce more in the postseason he isnt worth 11m. I read on The Athletic by readers that they think Vancouver can sign Pettersson to 3 times 5m, funny. He had 7 goals and 18p in 17 games last years playoffs, compared to Marner he should get 15m a year

  25. So exactly when is it time to “hit the panic button” in Toronto? This core has had 5 opportunities now. Results?

    2021 – Round One Loss (7)
    2020 – Lost Qualifiers (5)
    2019 – Round One Loss (7)
    2018 – Round One Loss (6)
    2017 – Round One Loss (7)

    They have been here in game 7 multiple times. This isn’t new to them. This is a cap strapped team that has done speed, veteran, various different complimenting casts, but they can’t put it together. The stars up front are simply failing to play like stars.

    The Leafs are great during the regular season but just cannot put it together when it counts. Seriously, is it 6 seasons, 7 seasons? How long does this core get? If this was any other team we’d be taking them to task by now about the need to blow up or shake up their core.

    Look at Calgary? Literally failed and they now need to shake up their core. Why is Toronto forgiven? I think they need a major move or two to become a more complete club.

    Tampa, Colorado, Vegas, Boston, these top contending teams have star players but they don’t perform on the backs of those players (regardless if I just named the teams that gave the three Vezina candidates).

    Leafs need to do something and i don’t think changing the supporting cast does it.

    • I also want to see some impossible, would never happen, EA NHL game type bull happen. (To be clear this is not a real proposal).

      To Toronto: Eichel, Reinhart, Ristolainen, Olfesson

      To Buffalo: Matthews, Marner, Brodie

      Throw in whatever odds and ends needed to make it work. But to be clear, this is the level of insane I want to see happen. Two clubs just fed up and switch some core players around.

    • Maybe start with a quality goaltender? How many teams win in the playoffs without one. Then leadership. They didn’t need Jumbo Joe, they needed Pat Maroon. But front office egos have to let the room build from the bottom up. Pat doesn’t score much, or even play many minutes but the cup seems to follow him around. No analytics would put him on a team. But a very analytics oriented and talented team did.

  26. The Leafs are doing just great leave things alone. Just like the Rangers they both are going places. Don’t trade anyone keep doing what you have been doing since 1967.

    Signed ,

    The rest of the NHL.