The Leafs will probably have the most noticed off-season again. Last year it was Tavares, this year it will be Marner.
The Leafs have a lot of work to do with their team. With the possible departure to the free market of Jake Gardiner, they need to compensate for the future. They need to sign Mitch Marner, which is priority 1 according to GM Kyle Dubas and literally everyone on the planet who follows this team. Second, they need to sign Kapanen and Johnsson, trade one of them, or trade cap consuming players to sign both. And finally, they need to add some depth pieces they lacked this year.
Marner will hit RFA status this July 1st, and will be looking for a new, lengthy, and expensive contract from the Leafs. Offer sheets from other teams are also a possibility but he’s stated multiple times that he wants to stay in Toronto. Marner is expected to make from Kucherov money (9.5M) to Matthews money (11.6M). I think he will make 10M at most as he was with Tavares the whole season. Tavares is known to give his wingers good seasons. Matthews played next to consistently non-productive wingers: (Kapanen, Johnsson, Marleau etc)
Both wingers had amazing improvement seasons that will get them paid. How much, is the question. Both produced similar numbers. Both are expected to make around 2.5-4M annually. The Leafs will not sign both unless they get rid of cap consuming contracts.
Players that need to be traded this off-season or upcoming season are Patrick Marleau (salary dump,regressed 18-19 season), Connor Brown (non-productive, salary dump), Nikita Zaitsev (salary dump,maybe can have a somewhat valuable return), and finally Kapanen or Johnsson (Both are very valuable, can trade for a good top 4 defenseman, future salary dump)
Now, trading Kapanen or Johnsson is unlikely. Trading the 3 before though can be possible. Assuming most of the trades would be for picks and no salary retained, the Leafs would free up around 12.8M in cap space. That’s more than enough to sign all of Marner, Kapanen, and Johnsson while having just a bit wiggle room in cap space.
Notable UFAs at the moment: Tim Heed (SJS, Top6D/7D, RD, ExpSalary: 900k)
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Sources: CapFriendly.com, Twitter.com