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Leafs Summer Plans On Hold Until Core Course Is Determined

May 24, 2024, 4:53 PM ET [205 Comments]
Mike Augello
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The Toronto Maple Leafs would love to re-sign Tyler Bertuzzi, they would love to bring back Max Domi, they might be interested in keeping Joel Edmundson or Ilya Lyubushkin around because they fit Craig Berube and Brad Treliving’s penchant on the blueline, but all of that is likely on hold until they determine a course of action of clearing cap space by moving one of the core group.

As it continues to be the case, that is likely limited to possibly moving Mitch Marner, since it is certain that Treliving will not move Auston Matthews and William Nylander, it would make no sense to deal Morgan Rielly with a defense that is underwhelming, and John Tavares has made it clear that he does not want to go anywhere. In the coming weeks, if the Leafs approach agent Darren Ferris and tell Marner that they do not plan on offering him an extension and ask him if he would be open to going someplace else that would give him an eight-year deal, then Treliving can jump into action and start fielding offers from interested clubs.

If Marner’s camp says they will just play out the deal and go to free agency next July, then that’s all she wrote. Treliving will be limited to accentuating on the periphery, building around a core that has not won in eight seasons once again, and being limited to addressing four or five areas of need with an insufficient amount of cap space.

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun indicated that there is mutual interest between the Leafs and Bertuzzi about staying in Toronto, but that the club has to get things in order, so right now the chances of the winger returning is up in the air.

There have already been conversations between Toronto and Domi’s representative Judd Moldaver (same agent as Auston Matthews), but not to the point of numbers being mentioned. LeBrun speculates that a deal for Domi would likely be five-to-six years at $5 to $6 million AAV, but adding that kind of cap hit on top of the $46.6 million being spent on the core four takes away from the money that must be allocated towards adding a tandem starter with Joseph Woll and at least two defensemen.

It would be beneficial for Toronto to address some of those areas of need with the return they could possibly get for a top forward like Marner, but that again will depend on him being open to going and how many destinations he would accept. Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at where Marner could go and what the Leafs could expect to get back in a deal.


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