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Toronto Maple Leafs Information & Rumors: Marleau, Kapanen, Draft, Sparks

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Amongst all his different duties, Toronto Maple Leafs basic supervisor Kyle Dubas continues to barter together with his restricted free brokers (RFAs), together with Mitch Marner and has his eyes on potential veterans who may quickly be purchased out by their groups. If he can discover numerous these probably low-cost gamers, he has an opportunity of including to the crew’s depth.

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

A number of vital NHL dates are transferring
in direction of us, and every presents alternatives and challenges for the Maple Leafs.
The NHL Draft is coming inside per week. June 15 is the first day basic managers should purchase out gamers’ contracts. And, throughout the
final week of June, RFAs can speak with groups apart from those who maintain their
contracts.

Associated: Ennis Was Maple Leafs’ Cut price Hero: Who’s Subsequent?

Will these dates shut or open doorways for the Maple Leafs and the crew’s present roster? That’s a giant query for Maple Leafs followers. Right here’s a few of the information surrounding the crew as we wait to see what occurs. This coming week guarantees to be busy.

Merchandise One: Extra on Patrick Marleau

It’s wanting just like the Maple Leafs may have the ability to commerce Patrick Marleau, however that gained’t be straightforward or low-cost. They may seemingly be pressured to surrender a draft decide or a prospect in the event that they anticipate one other crew to tackle Marleau’s contract.

It
isn’t as if Marleau doesn’t have worth. He nonetheless produces. Final season, he scored
16 targets, 21 assists, and 37 factors. Many NHL gamers can be proud of that
manufacturing. Second, he’s a terrific crew member who’s keen to mentor youthful
gamers and supply the type of values and work ethic a profitable crew wants.
Third, Marleau is for certain to be elected to the Hockey Corridor of Fame, and that
alone may draw followers to see him play.

It’s the $6.25 million cap hit that the Maple Leafs can not afford. As I famous in a current publish, Marleau shouldn’t be the issue – his contract is.

Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The
undeniable fact that Marleau has a no-movement clause and clearly needs to maneuver nearer to
his west-coast residence opens the door a crack for the Dubas. Nevertheless, it’s a small
crack. The Maple Leafs commerce leverage isn’t large.

After watching Dubas’ strikes this season, my guess is that he’s regarded on the group and realized he may have already got gamers who’re prepared. I feel he would somewhat commerce draft picks than these gamers. Nevertheless, if that is true, the crew is proscribed as a result of it doesn’t have a first-round draft decide as a result of Jake Muzzin commerce.

Associated: Maple Leafs’ Patrick Marleau: Taking One for the Workforce?

It is going to be attention-grabbing to see how Dubas performs this. Will he commerce away any of the seven draft picks he has within the upcoming draft, or will he transfer prospects already within the group? Actually, Dubas isn’t a veteran basic supervisor, and we’re nonetheless studying about how he thinks. We’ll know extra quickly.

Merchandise Two: NHL Draft Order Set

With the St. Louis Blues’ victory over the Boston Bruins within the Stanley Cup Finals and the top of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the order of choices within the first spherical of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Area in Vancouver on June 21-22 has been set.

On the NHL Draft Lottery on April 9, the primary 15 spots (groups that missed the playoffs or the playoff groups that personal these picks) had been finalized. The New Jersey Devils gained that lottery and have the primary decide.

Associated: Reviewing Maple Leafs’ 2018 Draft Class

On June 14, the
Nationwide Hockey League launched the complete draft order for the 2019 draft, and
the Leafs have seven picks. These picks are numbers 53, 84, 115, 124, 146, 204
and 208. As famous earlier, the Maple Leafs traded their first-round decide (22nd total) to the Los Angeles Kings as half
of the Muzzin deal.

Merchandise Three: Is
Kasperi Kapanen Gone?

Though nobody outdoors the room is aware of for sure, it’s logical that the Maple Leafs are actively speaking trades involving Marleau, Nikita Zaitsev, and Connor Brown. However, the place is Kasperi Kapanen in all this? Given the Maple Leafs depth on the best facet, is Kapanen practical commerce bait?

Toronto Maple Leafs proper wing Kasperi Kapanen celebrates with the bench (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

As Dubas
has famous, the crew’s targets are to first signal Marner to a long-term contract
previous to July 1. Second, he additionally should enhance his protection, particularly the best
facet now that Zaitsev has requested to be traded. For these items to occur, the
crew should transfer contracts and liberate wage cap area. Clearly, transferring the
contacts of Marleau, Zaitsev, and Brown does a few of that. Nevertheless, is that
sufficient?

Kapanen can be an RFA, and his play calls for a elevate. He’s additionally prone to be seen by numerous groups as a possible first-line producer. Subsequently, he’s an asset Dubas may commerce in his seek for a right-side defenseman. Little question Kapanen can be a scorching commodity if supplied available on the market.

Associated: The Maple Leafs Are Going to Want Cap Aid

Along with displaying large offensive potential, he comes from a terrific hockey lineage. His father is Sami Kapanen, who performed 12 seasons for the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Philadelphia Flyers. Father Sami can be the present head coach of HC Lugano within the Nationwide League. It’s a superb guess hockey smarts run within the household. That may add to son Kasperi’s worth.

Merchandise 4: Making an attempt to Commerce Garret Sparks

Based on a rumor from TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Maple Leafs are “quietly” attempting to commerce backup goaltender Garret Sparks.

Listening to from a number of sources that the Maple Leafs have quietly been purchasing Garret Sparks. The backup goalie, 25, has one 12 months left on his deal paying him $750okay.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 14, 2019Sadly for each the previous AHL goaltender of the 12 months in 2017-18 and the Maple Leafs, Sparks 2018-19 season wasn’t stellar. He had an Eight-9-1 report with a three.15 goals-against common enjoying behind Maple Leafs primary goalie Frederik Andersen. Maybe a few of Sparks’ issues had been bodily, however some might need additionally been in his head.

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Garret Sparks (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Though he began the season effectively, Sparks appeared to have misplaced his mojo. Throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs, he was changed by Michael Hutchinson and left to deal with his personal play with goalie coaches Steve Briere and Jon Elkin.

Associated: Maple Leafs Have Choices If Marner Will get Provide Sheets

Sparks was drafted by the Maple Leafs throughout the 2011 draft (Spherical 7, quantity 190 total) and has a 12 months left on his present contract with a cap hit of $750,000. At that value, he is perhaps enticing to a different crew.

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