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Can The Toronto Maple Leafs Afford Morgan Rielly?

from Chris Johnston at the Toronto Star,

As the summer sped by without meaningful negotiations on a Morgan Rielly contract extension, his case for a major payday only grew stronger.

These last few weeks saw an undeniable shift upwards in the market for defencemen who eat big minutes and drive offence. And the shift may have created a divide between the Maple Leafs and their longest-tenured player that will ultimately prove too wide to bridge.

Shared history and sentiment aside, where exactly is the wiggle room here?

This is the most important contract of Rielly’s career. And in a flat-cap NHL environment general manager Kyle Dubas must weigh the merits of any significant salary commitment against what he’d need to cut away from the organization’s base in order to accommodate it.

That explains in part why there’ve only been a couple of surface-level conversations between Rielly’s camp and Leafs management to this point. The CBA has permitted them to sign a deal that would take effect in July 2022 for more than six weeks now, and during that period the marketplace has evolved.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink


SYF's avatar

LTIR circumvention!  Go for it, Laffs.

And they have only three drafts picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.  Stuck in between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 09/11/21 at 09:08 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

The Laffs have 63% of their cap tied up in Matthews, Tavares, Marner, Nylander, Muzzin and Brodie (all of whom have at least three more years on their contracts). And every GM in the league knows their situation. So good luck trying to make a deal for Reilly that gets them a return equal to his true value. This is gonna be fun to watch.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/13/21 at 11:37 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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