As all the time, the Toronto Maple Leafs are within the information. There may be a lot hypothesis about trades, and I’m curious to think about how basic supervisor Kyle Dubas would possibly creatively assemble a brand new roster within the face of a menacing wage cap. This evaluate of stories and rumors focuses on these potential strikes, in addition to the continued play of Maple Leafs prospect Mason Marchment and ahead William Nylander.
Andreas Johnsson All for Signing
Though the main target has been totally on what it’d take for the Maple Leafs to signal Marner, there are different gamers the staff want to signal. Actually, Andreas Johnsson is certainly one of them. Clearly, Johnsson has the potential to grow to be a Maple Leafs star. He had a 20-goal season in 2018-19 and, if he performed constantly on the staff’s high six, he’s more likely to rating significantly extra.
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Johnsson notes that he’s open to a deal however it appears he’s not getting too concerned with the small print. As he stated, “The brokers and the group have to speak about that.” He added, “No matter would work greatest for each (sides).”
In late April, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the Maple Leafs made a proposal of 4 years with a $2.6 million cap hit. A two-year take care of a $2.1 million cap hit was additionally made. Each had been rejected.
Merchandise Two: Different
Groups Categorical Curiosity in Mason Marchment
In my Could 15 publish, I wrote concerning the persevering with progress of the Toronto Marlies Mason Marchment. On Could 17, Jacob Stoller of The Leafs Nation additionally wrote about Marchment and added some data I hadn’t discovered from my analysis.
Particularly, Stoller reported that a variety of NHL sources confirmed that the Maple Leafs had fielded calls about Marchment simply previous to the commerce deadline. Clearly, Marchment has drawn curiosity from groups due to his play. Throughout the Marlies’ sequence with the Cleveland Monsters, Marchment performed nicely, each offensively and defensively, and helped the Marlies sweep the Monsters.
As Marchment famous, “I believe it simply all got here collectively.” Clearly, it did. And, he didn’t cease with that sequence. On Friday, Could 17, Marchment’s purpose throughout the first minute of the third interval was the winner because the Marlies edged the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 in Sport 1 of the American Hockey League’s Jap Convention Closing.
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Merchandise Three: Groups with Cap Area That May Be Buying and selling Companions
Actually, the Maple Leafs should commerce away wage. However, for a commerce to lighten the staff’s wage cap situation, the staff merely can’t commerce wage for wage. Their buying and selling companion should assume extra wage from the Maple Leafs than they transfer again. That may solely occur if the Maple Leafs work with a staff that has appreciable wage cap house.
James Tanner of Editor in Leaf did a fast evaluate of potential Maple Leafs commerce companions who meet that criterion. He lists 4 groups which have vital wage cap house: the Detroit Crimson Wings, the Arizona Coyotes, the Ottawa Senators, and the New Jersey Devils.
As Tanner notes, the Crimson Wings are rebuilding and can in all probability be unhealthy subsequent yr. Nevertheless, they could take of venture on Nikita Zaitsev.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews celebrates his purpose with Nikita Zaitsev (AP Picture/Michael Dwyer)
The Coyotes, he notes, all the time have cap house open. So, if Patrick Marleau might be talked into it, the staff would possibly be capable of transfer him to the Coyotes. Marleau has an attention-grabbing contract as a result of, though it takes up vital cap house, most of that contract is paid in two signing bonuses. If the Maple Leafs paid these signing bonuses, there’s little cash owing on Marleau’s contract. A staff with cap house may carry Marleau’s contract with out shelling out its personal cash and would possibly accomplish that if the Maple Leafs tossed in a participant with worth. May Marleau take into account transferring?
The Senators have little probability of constructing the playoffs, so would possibly take a wage like Marleau’s off the Maple Leafs’ books if the Maple Leafs threw in draft picks or prospects.
Tanner notes that the Devils can have star-level gamers on entry-level contracts and would possibly assume a foul contract from the Maple Leafs for a participant like Kasperi Kapanen, who would assist them now. That stated, dumping Kapanen for wage cap appears improper to me.
Merchandise 4: Maple
Leafs Commerce Bait
TSN’s Frank Seravalli created an offseason commerce bait board of 15 gamers he felt are probably to be traded this summer time. That board has a definite Maple Leafs aroma. On the high of the checklist was former Maple Leafs participant Phil Kessel, whose time with the Pittsburgh Penguins is now on life assist. After an early dismissal from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it appears clear the Penguins’ lineup will change over the summer time.
Two present Maple Leafs are additionally on that checklist of 15. The primary is Connor Brown, at quantity seven. He’s a third-line winger with a wage of $2.1 million. Provided that he has commerce worth, he should be a simple transfer for the staff. In actual fact, in a current publish I famous Marchment’s play with the Marlies. He’d be a less expensive alternative.
Connor Brown, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
There have been rumors on the commerce deadline that Brown could be traded to the Edmonton Oilers with defenseman Adam Larsson coming again. If that had been true, it might be a win for the Maple Leafs. The issue in Edmonton was not that Larsson was a foul participant; he isn’t. It’s simply that he was traded for Taylor Corridor, and that made Oilers followers loopy.
The second participant on the checklist is defenseman Zaitsev, at quantity 12. Zaitsev has 5 years left on his contact with a cap hit of $four.5 million. He had a superb playoff sequence, and would possibly convey one thing again on a commerce. He has worth, however the Maple Leafs might need to throw in one other participant to make his contract extra palatable to a different staff. What are the probabilities former Maple Leafs basic supervisor Lou Lamoriello, who signed the defenseman to that contract, would possibly need Zaitsev on the New York Islanders roster?
For these , right here
is Seravalli’s checklist of 15
1. Phil Kessel2. Jacob
Trouba3. Ryan Callahan4. Jason Zucker5. P.Ok.
Subban6. Michael Frolik7. Connor
Brown8. Kyle Turris9. Kevin Shattenkirk10. Artemi Panarin (rights)11. Travis
Zaitsev13. Olli Maatta14. Colin
Miller15. Milan Lucic
Merchandise 5: Nylander Is Taking part in Nicely on the World Championships
It’s not like William Nylander hasn’t performed nicely at hockey’s World Championships earlier than. In actual fact, throughout the 2017 World Championships he was named MVP and scored 14 factors (seven targets, seven assists) in 10 video games as he led Sweden to the gold medal.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ William Nylander (AP Picture/Jay LaPrete, File)
At this World Championships, he’s additionally scoring nicely. After 4 video games, he’s tied for second within the match with 10 factors (three targets, seven assists) with Michael Frolik and Jakub Voacek, every who’ve performed 5 video games. Nikita Kucherov is main scoring with 12 factors, and he’s additionally performed 5 video games.
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The Marlies proceed their playoff run over the subsequent week. That they beat the Checkers on the street speaks to the staff’s sturdy play. As a result of the Maple Leafs have some gamers on this sequence, will probably be enjoyable to observe how the finals proceed. Maybe beneath the radar is Sheldon Keefe’s teaching. He’s clearly doing one thing proper.