While the Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves in an interesting cap situation in the future, the team seems to be content with making a playoff run and using their trade deadline assets in James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov as “own rentals” instead. All three players will be unrestricted free agents next season and it seems unlikely that all three will be retained.
While the team may be able to find a way to keep one or two of the free agents, there is a lot of speculation that the team is unlikely to be able to extend van Riemsdyk due to the scorer’s likely high contract demands this summer and their own cap situation, The Athletic’s James Mirtle (subscription required) asks the question whether it’s a good idea to lose the veteran wing for nothing. The in-depth story begins by looking at van Riemsdyk’s value as he currently has 19 goals in 47 goals and is on pace for one of his best seasons ever. Breaking down the numbers, Mirtle suggests that the team could easily afford the 28-year-old for the first two years of a deal, but complications will come after that when the team must start extending their young stars in Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner. That doesn’t even get to the thought the team might want to bring in a big-name defenseman at some point.
No matter how you look at it, the scribe writes, there is no easy way to fix the problem. He writes the team should have moved van Riemsdyk a year ago to have gotten the true value they needed, but can’t move him now when the team is poised for a playoff run. It seems clear the team intends to invest elsewhere in the future and will have to fill the veteran’s place from within.
- Eric Engels of Sportsnet writes that Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price said that he was suffering from chronic fatigue at the beginning of the season and couldn’t recover his energy after games and practices. “I was always tired,” Price told TVA Sports. “A guy who eats well and sleeps well like me isn’t supposed to be tired like I was.” After seeing a nutritionist, it turned out he had vitamin deficiencies in vitamin D and B12. Once taking supplements, Price said it took about three weeks before he began to see an improvement in his energy levels. Before being injured on Nov. 2, Price had a 3-7-1 record and a .877 save percentage.
- Newsday’s Arthur Staple writes that while the New York Islanders have made a number of moves, bringing up players from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to help the team, many fans have noticed that prospect Joshua Ho-Sang has not been among them. That’s because, according to head coach Doug Weight, Ho-Sang is not trying very hard in the AHL. He was a healthy scratch with the AHL squad last week with finger-pointing towards his lack of effort. “It’s a crying shame he’s not playing with John Tavares when (Josh Bailey) goes down,” Weight said. “We had six guys out. It was a perfect opportunity. And Josh should be upset with himself. Whether our view of the world is wrong is something we can argue later. But the fact is, we need to be able to look at how some guys are laying it on the line [in Bridgeport] and he’s a healthy scratch. So to go from that to the first lineup here, where is he learning from that? That’s a big, big part of this.” Ho-Sang has five goals and 10 assists in 20 games with Bridgeport.