NHL Rumor Mill – June 7, 2021

by | Jun 7, 2021 | Rumors | 63 comments

It’s been a week since the Maple Leafs were eliminated from the first round but that hasn’t stopped speculation over their offseason plans. Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos believes the clock is ticking for the Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup hopes with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner under contract. Matthews’ current deal expires in 2024, Marner’s the following year.

If things go sideways, the pair can depart via the unrestricted free agent market. Traikos doubts the pair will want to endure another five years of disappointment, much less a decade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Traikos feels the Leafs have three seasons to either win the Cup or make significant progress toward doing so to convince those two to stay. A lot can happen over that time. What Dubas does over the next three years will determine the futures of Matthews, Marner and the Leafs.

Terry Koshan believes Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas could find it difficult to bolster the roster with limited cap space this summer. They have roughly $67.8 million invested in next season’s cap payroll, leaving little room under the $81.5 million cap.

With Dubas and team president Brendan Shanahan adamant that high-paid forwards Matthews, Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander aren’t going anywhere, the Leafs will have to look elsewhere to free up payroll.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (NHL Images).

Dubas could avoid potentially losing Morgan Rielly to free agency next summer by trading him now. It would free up $5 million in cap room but also leave a big hole on their blueline, one Rasmus Sandin could eventually fill. If Alex Kerfoot is taken by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft, it’ll free up $3.5 million.

Koshan considers re-signing Zach Hyman a seemingly insurmountable challenge. He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 28 and the Leafs lack the money to re-sign him. It’s believed the 28-year-old winger could get multiyear offers between $5 million and $6 million annually on the open market. With other holes in the roster to address, the Leafs can’t afford that even if they lose Kerfoot’s cap hit to the Kraken.

Hyman’s agent dismissed a rumor claiming the Leafs had already offered a deal worth $5 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hyman is a Toronto native. He could accept a “hometown discount” to stay with the Leafs, especially if he thinks he won’t get better offers in the free-agent market under a flattened salary cap. However, this is also his best opportunity to land a lucrative long-term deal. There will be teams willing to pay between $5 million and $6 million for his services on the open market despite the flat cap.

Even if Hyman accepts a lesser deal of, say, $4 million annually, that’s still going to take a big bite out of the Leafs’ cap space. That could force Dubas to consider a bigger move this summer.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox believes the Leafs must make a decision soon on Rielly. Do they keep him for next season as an “own rental” for one last shot at the Cup with the Leafs, do they trade him, or attempt to negotiate a contract extension starting on July 28? His trade value, combined with his affordable $5 million cap hit, might never be higher than it is now.

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran believes trading Rielly should be on the table if the Leafs are committed to Sandin taking over his role. He points out they got a first-round pick and promising prospect Filip Hallander by trading Kasperi Kapanen last year to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rielly would be worth at least that much, and freeing up his $5 million cap hit would give the Leafs room to bring in a couple of affordable bottom-six forwards.

While Dubas and Shanahan said they’re not trading Marner, McGran wondered if they would listen if it was talent-for-talent. Perhaps they’d listen if the Columbus Blue Jackets offered defenseman Seth Jones, or the Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, or the Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk or Johnny Gaudreau.

McGran admits it would get tricky trying to move Marner. He expects Dubas won’t change his approach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Rielly is a more realistic scenario than moving Marner. Yes, the latter could happen if the Leafs got a terrific offer. But Rielly’s affordable cap hit for next season is easier for other clubs to absorb than Marner’s $10.9 million through 2024-25.

The question is, will Dubas make that move? As The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel observed last week, the Leafs better make sure they have a suitable replacement lined up. Siegel doesn’t consider Sandin ready yet for a full-time top-four role. If Dubas shares that view, Rielly could return for at least next season unless he can find an appropriate substitution in the trade or free-agent market.

Mark Zwolinski examined the Leafs’ options for a backup goaltender for Jack Campbell next season. One option is bringing back Frederik Andersen if he accepted a pay cut in the $2 million range. Free-agent options could include Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, Colorado’s Devan Dubnyk or Edmonton’s Mike Smith.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Andersen has played his last for the Leafs. He did his best and was often overworked and underappreciated, but Campbell has taken over the starter’s job now.

I don’t see Rinne leave Nashville if he still wants to play one more season. The Oilers have already indicated they’re bringing back Smith. Dubnyk’s performance has really declined over the last two years. Other free-agent options include former Leafs James Reimer or Jonathan Bernier or the Hurricanes’ Petr Mrazek.


  1. Yes, good call. Toronto should trade Rielly because that will help them get better defensively.


    • Trading Reilly would set the Leafs back several years. Sanding is nowhere near ready to step in and there’s no one else on the horizon.
      As for speculation on what will eventually happen with Matthews and Marner, I’d caution that the last year has shown us all that trying to predict what will happen three years from now is a fool’s game.

    • Imagine a world where Bogosian is in your top 4……


    • For the life of me why is it being even discussed about moving Reilly to free up cap space to resign Hyman??? More $$$ to forwards & less to the D?

      Also will never understand why Dubas caved to Matthews for that much money on a 5 year term. That salary should have at least commanded a 7 year deal. If he wanted a 5 year deal that cap needed to be a lot lower as the window with Matthews became that much shorter. Matthews was still an RFA, Leafs had the hammer. Never been a fan of Dubas.

  2. What a mess.

    1. Overpaid Tavares by 2.5-4 million, although he would have gotten 9-10 on the open market. Still the NMC and length of the deal is hard to justify, especially when setting the bar for the other three.

    2. Shanahan thought each would negotiate team friendly deals for sake of winning. Nylander used Pasternak as a comparable even though he’s not fit to tie Pasta’s skates. Matthews wanted more than Tavares as he knows he is better but for that money it should have been a max 8 yr term. Marner overpaid by 2.5-3 million and for that kind of money it should have been for 8 yrs.

    3. Analytics works for PlayStation EA sports not necessarily for reality.

    4. Toughness starts with your top line or at least from 2-4. It doesn’t start with fringe players that rarely play.

    5. Hitting should be mandatory. No marshmallows or figure skaters should be wearing a storied jersey.

    6. Trade Reilly for assets. Get Sandin on the point that can actually take a slap shot.

    7. Trade or expose Kerfoot for expansion draft. Send his 3.5 million contract out the door.

    8. A power play that is allowed to go 12-127 or whatever figure around that should get assistant coach Malholtra fired and Keefe fired for not intervening and players sat out for failing to get the job done.

    • Frank,

      Gonna have to agree with all of that.

    • I’m thrilled tavares didn’t pick the Bruins.

      • Ray, BRUINS!!!!

        Thank God he left the Island!!

        Sometimes what you think is your worst day turns into several years of playoff series wins.

        Just ask “the kid that won the Calder”

        JT 12 years 37 playoff games 1 series win

        Calder Kid 4 years 40 playoff games (and counting) 5 series wins and counting.

        The Leafs should hire Dr. Christaan Barnard.

        You old timers know who he is.
        For you youngsters, he is the doctor who performed the first HEART transplant.

      • Christaan Barnard has been dead for about 100 years.

      • So have the Leafs

    • While the big 4 salaries are causing grief you gotta remember that these deals were made when the Cap had kept going up every year. Pandemic kills the gate for the league and the Cap gets stagnant which is the REAL cause for the front office headaches… While I don’t agree with paying Marner what they did the Nylander deal doesn’t look that bad and Tavares would have got that payday somewhere else and The Leafs thought signing JT would push them a lot farther than they have gone so far. Admit it – who thought they would have caved to Montreal in the first round? Be honest. Who really thought they would lose Game 6? Game 7 you don’t have to be a genius to predict they crumple under the pressure of that game…

      If the Cap had gone up even 3-4 mill a year over the past two off seasons their contract issues would be manageable…

    • What a mess.

      In what NHL market can you have nothing to show for a rebuild for FIVE YEARS and STILL have your GM and Presidents in their roles???

      You can’t commit half your cap to THOSE four players…or ANY four players…and expect to ice a competitive team.

      If Shanny and Scoobie are unwilling to move on from keeping those top 4 salaries, especially when the cap isn’t expected to change in 5 years, they should be replaced with hockey people that WILL do the obvious thing.

      The leafs have 3 picks left for this draft, and 3 next year. You can’t fill roster gaps with cheap, home-grown talent, if you’re trading picks for rentals and cap space.

      WHY can’t MLSE not see these two have NO idea how to win???

      Too bad they don’t have Lou Lamoriello…all he’s done in the past couple of years is make it to the final four after taking over a team in shambles. Wow!

  3. By the way, I like Reilly as he is a smart defenseman but he’s going to look for 7-8 mil per year and a flattened cap makes that impossible. He has no slap shot and you can get two comparable defensemen for what you’ll end up paying him in a year. Paying him at that rate means you’ll be filling in the roster with Jimmy Veseys and Wayne Simmonds and Travis Boyds for the next five yrs. next we’ll be signing players from the men’s league so that the Fab Four can keep getting their Chequeswhile they await unrestricted free agency.

    • Frank is on the money. No team has ever won the cup with a 10 million dollar player and the Leafs have 3. Tavares and Marner are ridiculously overpaid. Not sure Mathews is totally invested.

      Its impossible to fill out the rest of a championship level roster for 50 million dollars. Look at the remaining teams in the playoffs and the salaries and the production of their bottom six. They are getting what they pay for. The leafs are also getting what they pay for from their bottom six of minimum deals. The problem is they are not getting what they pay for from the top six.

      And it only gets better as next season its back to Tampa and Boston.

      Seems the only ones that don’t see this is Shanahan and Dubas.

      • True that no team has won a cup having a player with a $10 million cap hit, but there have been 2 teams that have won a cup with players who had $9.5 million cap hits with a lower cap ceiling. Just because it hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

      • Agreed but x3?

  4. The federal government has granted a “National Interest” travel exemption to the NHL so teams can travel freely across the border without quaratine or isolating for 14 days. If letting athletes travel freely unencumbered back and forth across the border is in the national interest can someone please explain why the Blue Jays are being forced to play in Buffalo?

    Asking for a friend.

    • Question:

      Is Canada the only country in the world where we seem pre-destined to rake up Leafy material during TWO seasons of every year?

      Asking for a friend.


      • or perhaps I should have specified:

        “fallen Leafy material”?

        Hey, my bro moved there.

        I know, black armbands, but I’ve got at least some cred!

    • The reason is the Canadian team will only face at most two opponents (assuming they reach the Cup Final) for approximately one month. Border crossings would be limited. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are playing a regular-season schedule in which they and multiple opponents would be crossing the border numerous times from now until early October.

      Hope that helps clear that up for you…

      • Agreed there is a difference but if those terms are applied to hockey players and not all citizens, the government loses all credibility, regardless.

        Politics are all about money and pressure and selfishness, not about representing the whole populace, but then again, it has always been that way. It is just easier to see it in this day and age.

      • Totally agree TheFlyingV

      • Lyle,

        Thanks. Perhaps you can also explain why Mr Trudeau, his staff and traveling reporters are also now exempt from covid protocals when they return from the G7 in Britain.

        Canadians, returning by air to Canada but no 3 day hotel stay or two week quarantine.


        For the record, Im not an antivaxxer or antimasker. Ive isolated, worn a mask when out and had 1 of the 2 shots.

      • I cover hockey, Ron, not politics, so why are you asking me this question? Contact the PM’s office or your local member of parliament.

  5. I agree with you Frank. But the problem is not what Shanahan, Dubas, or Keefe might do but that they might have any input to decisions at all.

    It is time for the Board to remove all 3 from any participation in decision making. They have had enough time to show what they can do. It has not been even close to good enough. Move now to start again with different leadership.

    Thanks to the current leadership there are assets that can be traded to get what the next leadership group wants. The mistakes of the past few years can be moved on to the advantage of Leaf fans.

    What would Arizona or LA give for Matthews or Buffalo for Marner. Would Taverres agree to a trade. Can Nylander or Marner be an effective NHL centre. What will Colorado do if they surprise everyone and lose this round?

    Time to explore all options with different eyes and no prejudice. Time to take a step back before taking 2 forward. Time to study what Montreal has done to be the success they are.

    • OBD, Who in the world is going to take an older, slower, declining JT at 11 million in this cap strapped league?

      The only team that might jump are the Pens.

      They love collecting “names” as much as the Leafs.

      • Hey! We don’t just collect other teams names! We also very successfully tank and grow our own names spank you very much!

    • OBD,
      The big four aren’t going anywhere. The father son and holy coach aren’t going anywhere. Let’s study Montreal for a bit – sign a 30+ year old goalie to $10+ Million and hope he gets hot for the playoffs (check) then sign a bunch of big slow defenders who can cross-check and hope the refs don’t start calling penalties after the second blow to the back (phew they aren’t calling them!) then sign a bunch of middling forwards who can’t score pretty much all of the time (see stats) then get a bunch of puck luck (and Corey Perry’s knee). The Habs may win the cup on Price’s back or they may lose to Vegas or Colorado or Tampa, but they probably won’t be in the playoffs next year. Have a brew or some edibles or go for a walk to ease the pain, but please stay the course and don’t drink the Habitant Kool-Aid! It’s poison.

  6. You don’t win cups without significant depth. You don’t need to have 4 players as talented as the “Core Four” in Toronto at the expense of a full roster. Mitch Marner SHOULD IMO be expendable in order to bring in a more complete roster.

    Toronto cannot afford to move Reilly, Sandin is simply not ready to take his spot, he showed that in the playoffs this year. No matter what way you slice it to me, Marner makes the most sense to move. Matthew/Tavares gives you center depth, which is important to win the cup. Nylander is a talented winger on a more affordable cap hit.

    The Leafs should also hope that Robertson is ready to play alongside Tavares/Nylander next year to provide a more affordable top 6 option. See if you can bring Spezza back on an affordable 1 year option, I’d say the same for Foligno … giving the Leafs, Spezza, Foligno, Engvall, Mikheyev in the bottom 6. A 3rd line center and a solid defensive winger would become must haves at this point.

    Trading Marner, plus the cap space from Kerfoot & Anderson, would allow you to get a replacement winger (in the trade), re-sign Hyman, and be able to pursue those other players (maybe you get a Marner replacement + an affordable younger 3rd line center). I’m not a Toronto fan by any stretch of the imagination. But if they cannot address their depth, the won’t be bringing home a cup.

    Sandin & Liljegren have a good shot at the club next year, so that helps bring in affordable defensive assistance to go along with Muzzin, Brodie, Reilly, & Holl.

    For goaltending, I’d target someone more affordable like Brossoit from Winnipeg or maybe take a flyer on a cheaper trade for someone who has upside potential like Hogberg out of Ottawa. Though Reimer could come back on an affordable deal as well. I’d not spend more than $2-$2.5 on this spot.

    On a final note … I think it would be crazy for any team to give Hyman $6/per on a long term deal. I like the guy, don’t get me wrong. I am totally in on Ottawa picking him up if he hits the market, I just don’t see him at $6mil. Maybe, $5/per on like a 4 year deal. But I can’t see giving him that much on a 6 or 7 year deal.

    • No chance in Hades Foligno signs a team friendly one year contract.




      Dumbass vastly overpaid for his get nothing done Fab Four, why should everyone else take a discount because Doobass has no cap room left?

      For the privledge of wearing a Leafs jersey?


      • I don’t recall using the words team friendly. I said affordable. If you can’t structure a deal that is affordable for the team (which is not always a deep discount) that allows you to structure your depth pieces and add what you need, then you look elsewhere. I am just stating that Foligno is a guy you SHOULD try and resign, if you can.

        Again, not a Leafs fan, no skin in the game. Just stating my thoughts on their current state of affairs.

  7. As I said yesterday (and what I didn’t say was, it’s due largely to the Toronto media – not Lyle), the Leafs are again the main topic of discussion. And already, as I post this, there are 8 comments, but nevertheless I fully expect the usual suspects to directly address me in their indignation, despite the fact what I am adding here are comments made this morning by Steve Simmons in the Toronto Sun. Many despise him – but let’s see some rational opposing views to the following (not all related to the Leafs):

    “So this makes little sense: Matthews scored 24 goals in 26 games at Scotiabank Arena this year and 32 goals in 34 games the season before. That’s a ridiculous 56 goals in 60 home games. Then he scored just one goal in four home playoff games. Please explain?

    The great part of Kyle Dubas’ season: Signing TJ Brodie as a free agent. He was a terrific addition for the Leafs. The not-so-great part: Parting with a first-round draft pick, a third-round pick, two fourths, a fifth and sixth for Nick Foligno, Riley Nash, Ben Hutton and David Rittich.

    Barring a side deal, the Leafs will protect the $40-Million Four in the expansion draft plus their top four defencemen and goalie Jack Campbell, leaving Alex Kerfoot or Travis Dermott available to Seattle. Teams can only lose one player in the draft … Selected one spot after Dermott in the 2015 NHL draft: Sebastian Aho …. Nikita Kucherov has 10 power-play points in the playoffs. Eight players on the Leafs combined for nine power-play points against Montreal ….

    Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each signed eight-year, $84-million contracts in the summer of 2014 that would begin one year later and would coincide with the decline of the championship Chicago Blackhawks teams.
    Six years have since passed and Toews mysteriously took a step back from his season, but one thing has been certain: The Blackhawks have been an also-ran in the NHL since altering their payroll significantly to take care of their two biggest stars.
    In the six seasons with Kane and Toews being paid $21 million in salary cap money, this is what has happened to Chicago: They lost in the opening round of the playoffs in 2016 and 2017. They didn’t make the playoffs in 2018 and 2019. The only reason they had any momentary success last August was because they won the preliminary round in a year in which they normally wouldn’t have qualified for the playoffs. And this season, they missed again.

    There is a message in this for all of hockey, especially now, well into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Chicago hasn’t won a real playoff round since Toews and Kane started getting the big money.
    The NHL’s highest-paid players currently — Erik Karlsson, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Artemi Panarin, John Tavares — either missed the playoffs or were eliminated in the first round. Only three of the 20 top-paid skaters are still active in the post-season, and one of them, Nikita Kucherov, didn’t count on the cap this year.
    With the $40-Million Four, the Maple Leafs are trying to succeed now and in the future. They’re trying to find a way that has to yet work in hockey.”

    • George,

      None of those teams had or have smarter than everyone else masterminds running their franchises.

      And they certainly didnt or dont have the genius Shanaplan in place.

      • Yeah, Ron – makes you wonder why those other GMs bother to go to work each day knowing they have to contend with Dubas – isn’t it “almost unfair?”

    • Interesting parallels George and they make sense.
      The blue print that this Leafs team matches with really is the Penguins, two very good centers (elite?). The big difference is that both Crosby and Malkin were locked up and there was a decent chunk of time available to get there.

      I don’t get why Marner is off the table? If he was signed for another 6 years, maybe.
      Hyman at 5-6Mil? Love the guy but that would be crazy and just not a responsible signing in a flat cap environment with the Anchors the Leafs currently have.
      If I had a choice, obviously it would be JT going to a team which needs a first line center and get a 2nd line C plus coming back to Toronto, unfortunately, that won’t happen.
      Nylander is fine given his cap hit, you aren’t replacing that on a trade and definitely not FA.
      Matthews – well, simply no to that. Leafs aren’t winning anything by moving their best player.

      • This won’t happen and it shouldn’t happen. But JT is one of my fav NHL players and I’d love him in an Ottawa jersey! Again, this won’t happen and it really should not. But it would make my heart warm and fuzzy!

    • I really think it is more important to look at cap hit as opposed to Salary, as that for the majority of clubs are the hiccup. Teams like those mentioned above have no issues paying the salary. But it is important to mention … that going by cap hit … 12 of the top 50 cap hit players are actually still playing (most of them for Tampa).

      Of all those high paid players … only Tampa, Washington, & Pittsburgh have won cups since the deals were signed. Most of these teams lack significant depth. The second part it, outside of Tampa … the teams that have won with high paid players. Only have one or two high paid players. Many other teams have struggled mightly to maintain their depth, as Toronto has shown. 4 highly paid forward detracts from the rest of your team. Marner is easily (to me) the one that should be on the block. I’d even say shipping Matthews is okay because Tavares is a number one center and Nylander can shift to the position!

      But you have to someone and spread that salary through your line up and you have to accept, you are unlikely to get the return the player is worth.

    • George,

      Totally Agree.

      53 players have a cap hit of 7.5 million or more. Of those only 12 are still playing.

      BOS- Taylor Hall (mostly paid by BUF)
      CAR- Sebastien Aho
      COL- Mikko Rantanen
      MON- Carey Price, Shea Weber
      WIN-Blake Wheeler
      VEGAS- Mark Stone, Alex Pietrangelo
      TAMPA- Kucherov, Stamkos, Vasiilevsky, Hedman

      Leafs have #3,#6 and #7

      8 of the top 14 highest paid players didn’t even make the playoffs.

      Team Building is an important attribute for any GM and it looks like Dubas doesn’t understand that aspect of his job.

    • YEAH! More Leafs talk. Goodie. Hey George thanks for mentioning that idiot. I think one way to sum up Simmons’ comments is isn’t hindsight a beautiful thing. He tends to point out the obvious now in hindsight or makes wacky perditions and speculation that has been proven lies many times over.
      I think Brian Burke said it best when he said, Toronto Sun, I wouldn’t even use it to line my bird or puppy cages with it. Hey I understand and can’t see it being entertaining the same way the enquirer is, it’s something you read to get chuckle at.

      Speaking of, man I laughing my @ss off at these comments… keep ‘em coming.

      • Again Ron – instead of reacting with haughty “you all don’t know what you’re talking about” (including Simmons), why not enlighten us with how YOU see the cap problem being resolved. As I said yesterday, 12 UFAs – which do they bring back and who do they get to replace those that aren’t and, in your estimation, will that be sufficient to get them past a first round?

        You know, things we can actually debate.

        As for anything to come out of the mouth of Blowhard Burke (who clearly couldn’t take the criticism for the very actions that got him fired), talk about taking something with a grain of salt. Now I’m laughing – thanks.

      • Oh, and as far as “I think one way to sum up Simmons’ comments is isn’t hindsight a beautiful thing” goes – what else is a sports columnist supposed to refer to? They ALL write on what’s transpired – none that I know of are paid too predict the future.

        That’s like accusing a historian of resorting to hindsight.

  8. If you have 3 players at more than 10 million, you’re not going to win a cup unless you get incredibly lucky. And Toronto just doesn’t have that kind of luck.

    Lyle, don’t you think Dubnyk’s performance at the WC has driven his value way up?

    • Dubnyk is playing with the Avs.

  9. George, Totally Agree

    There are 13 10 million dollar cap hits in the league. 7 of the those didn’t even make the playoffs. Leafs have #3, #6 and #7. Of those only Carey Price is still playing.

    At 7.5 million plus hits there are 53. Only 12 still playing.

    Dubas has no clue.

    • Oops, Though I lost the first post. Sorry about that

    • Bruins Krecji at 7.25 million is the Bruins Cap leader

      Isles Lee at 7.00 million is the Isles Cap leader

      See a trend here?

  10. The Sharks would still like Taveras. Switch he and Eric Karlsson. At least some of the Leaf millions will go to the D.
    Both teams regretting contracts.

    • Leafs want nothing to do with Karlsson, if given the choice I’m happy to keep JT…thrilled in fact

      • And, in that circumstance, you should be. Karlsson’s best years are WAY behind him.

  11. Not that TML would but

    to TML: DeKeyser (50% retained) & Detroit 1st next year

    to Det: Reilly & Kerfoot

    gives TML cap space by removing Kerfoot and only taking a Dman back @ 2.5 m, however, they get a 1st

    Detroit accelerates their backend rebuild. Kerfoot basically becomes Helm’s roster spot.

    Det using cap space well. Still no need to protect Kerfoot but gets Reilly.

    TML gets over 6m in cap space and a D-man in Dekeyser who is serviceable.

    • No way Yzerman gives up a 1st round pick. He has no interest in a quick rebuild.

      • Not saying he wants a QUICK rebuild but not an overly prolonged one either.

        I think, how he did in TB, is to trade assets where it made sense and put them on the best path to succeed. 1 yr of Reilly at 5M anchoring the backend PP with Seider and their 1st rd this year stepping in next (or following) season, along with Hronek, Stecher, etc… would be a good and prudent move.

        That gives more offensive punch coming from the back end and in a yr can re-up him or flip him for assets.

        more cap in Det to offer Reilly more cash too.

    • This doesn’t help the Leafs either. With Matthews having 3 years left on his contract giving up a top two Dman (on the Leafs at least) for a draft pick makes zero sense.
      Kerfoot is gone to Seattle most likely any way.

  12. Not a Leafs fan but I think the problem started when they signed JT, not the player but the cap space he takes up. When 50% of your cap space is taken by 4 players that doesn’t leave much to spread over the other 19.
    Aside from the NMC clause being a sticking point would JT and Reinhart being principals in a trade work out for both teams? or maybe Marner/Reinhart being trade principles.
    Sabres would have to add but I would assume Reinhart would want Nylander type money. That’s another 4 mil saved in cap.
    Can’t see the Sabres doing a Marner/Eichel trade, just makes no sense on their part.

  13. All of these TML signings were praised at the time by the likes of Simmons and the fan base.

    They were liked by them during the season while planning the Stanley Cup parade…..and now everybody knows better.

    Accept the fact that they didn’t “lose” they were beaten by a harder working team that was well put together…..and a huge dose of puck luck.

    Players who reach the NHL aren’t coasting on their laurels, they have pride and hate losing.

    Jumping on and off the bandwagon is a fans prerogative though unseemly, reporters lose all credibility.

    • Just because your roster has the “best” players doesnt mean you have the best team. Sadly the creators of the Shanascam failed too and continue to fail to realize that.

      On paper Montreal should have been annihilated by the Leafs and crushed by the Jets just by looking at their rosters.

      Subtle additions done wisely can make a huge difference, not every addition needs to be a big name. Adding spare parts can be the difference between winning and losing.

      Example: Leafs signed Joe Thornton and Wayne Simmonds for veteran leadership, despite none of them having ever won anything.

      Montreal adds Eric Staal and Corey Perry. Two Cup winners.

      Which two had/ have the greater or best impact? The two that have won a Cup.

      Too bad the Maple Leaf masterminds dont take heart and soul into account.

      • I wish I could find the actual posts, but I recall seeing comments – and media articles – that had the parade planed as soon as it was announced that the had hired “the best GM in the business (Burke)” and then again when they signed n “the best coach in the business (Babcock)” – or words very much to that effect. Much the same when Tavares grabbed the money.

        It wasn’t long before both the first two were being crucified by those very same posters/media types, who now openly wish there was some way they could move Tavares’ contract.

      • Ron,

        Bergevin (he’s improving) also added Allen, Edmunson and Toffoli – all Cup winners.

    • HabsFan, you need to go back to those signing periods and do a little fact check. Many fans and media pointed out the very thing everyone’s harping on now – four players, $40 million, flat cap. This is not breaking news, folks, it’s been out there since John Tavares came to Toronto and, by the way, everyone who predicted a pandemic and a flat salary cap for four or five years please stand up.
      Carry on.

  14. Leafs not only need to extend Reilly long-term, but they need to keep Hyman as well, who brings the sandpaper the roster lacks. Choose between Marner and Nylander and trade the other. If they trade Marner they may need to take back pennies on the dollar due to his cap hit, but so be it if it means keeping Reilly+Hyman

    • George, I can recall when Pierre Dorion and Joe Sakic were “the dumbest GMs” in the league – funny how much smarter they’ve become lately.
      And that guy in Montreal – he’s gone from the outhouse to the penthouse – amazing!

      • BCLF,

        not really amazing in Bergevin’s case.

        Montréal fans have had to suffer through 8 years as he learned in the job.

        Sergachev AND a pick for Drouin?!?

        Lots of angst, trust me.


  15. Re AM and MM and specifically re AM…. and “ If things go sideways, the pair can depart via the unrestricted free agent market. ”

    There is no “CAN” about it…. if he (AM) is not traded before…. AM leaves T.O. for good on 1/7/24…. still 26 then, in prime…. and due to Ontario taxes; pretty well every US team can offer him more take-home in 7 years than Leafs can get him in 8

    Krakken; Stars; Predz; Knights; Panthers; Bolts could offer him $100 M over 7 years…. ~ $63 M *take-home. Leafs would need to do $17 M * 8 for him to get same *take home (and then his next contract season starts at 35 instead of 34 [with 7 year]) … and per SN and TSN …. cap may stay flat through 24-5… if flat…. the max (per CBA) he could get offered is 20% of ceiling… $16.3 M

    …. and he literally chooses his destination

    Could he be first Captain ever of Krakken ? Knights waited!

    IMVHO…. no cup by ‘23…. Leafs need to at least consider what they can get for him (that summer) for his last year of contract. Much bigger return than at TDL ‘24; and they’ll get nada on 1/7/24

    *Used Gavin calculator for the take-home

    Beating a dead horse again…. keeping the big 4 next year… Leafs may be fighting for a WC spot just to make the playoffs