The Toronto Maple Leafs are heading into quite the summer in terms of contract negotiations, with Mitch Marner set to be “priority one” over the next few months. Beyond their young star though there are several other players who need new deals including Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson. The latter of the two is eligible for arbitration since he is already 24 years old, and apparently has already turned down multi-year extension offers from the Maple Leafs. Darren Dreger was on TSN radio this morning speaking about the cap crunch that Toronto will be facing, and indicated that the team had offered Johnsson a two-year deal worth $4.2MM (total) and a four-year deal worth $10.4MM at the trade deadline.
Johnsson, the Calder Cup MVP in 2018 with the Toronto Marlies, had an excellent rookie season with the Maple Leafs and recorded 20 goals and 43 points in 73 games. The speedy left winger played on a line with Auston Matthews for much of the season and throughout the playoffs, and showed he could keep up and score timely goals for the club. That kind of depth is exactly what the team will need if they want to finally get over the hump and advance to the second round of the playoffs, but with Matthews, John Tavares and Marner taking up something around $30MM moving forward the team will have to decide carefully how to spend their finances.
If Johnsson does go to arbitration he would be able to receive a one or two year deal, and potentially could earn more than the $2.1-2.6MM average annual value offered by the Maple Leafs at the deadline. That would get him even closer to unrestricted free agency—currently scheduled for the summer of 2022—while also giving him the chance to prove he can take another step offensively and deserve an even bigger payday.
There’s no reason to think that their is any animosity between the two sides, in fact it simply may have been a case of not wanting to negotiate during the season. But the Maple Leafs have some tough decisions to make this offseason on how to build their roster around the core of stars, given the lack of playoff success so far.
Get paid, broski. Have fun Leafs!
highly doubt he gets paid by the leafs. if he isn’t willing to take less than 2.6 he’s gone. I know his agent sees willie getting paid but so do the leafs and realize that Matthews often is creating chances for these guys not the other way around.
Let the salary cap carnage begin in the G.T.A. !
carnage? lol yep having too much of a good thing has always been a bad team. this team is not in trouble as they have very few bad contracts. yes some guys will have to go but this is not Chicago or LA where 4-5 guys are aging and overpaid with term. really the only bad contracts are zaitsev and Marleau and even his is 1 year. Willie’s isn’t great but someone would be interested in him if the leafs decide to trade him.
Definitely not carnage. For Marleau’s and Nylander’s contract they were/are front loaded. Nylander gets a huge pay day July 1st. Yes the cap hit is what it is but I’m sure teams like the Hurricanes will find value in being able to acquire a player and pay him 2 Million or less per year with a cap hit way higher. They are trying to get to the cap floor and this could work in Kyle’s favour…The biggest asset to the leafs right now is cap space! Marleau probably stays but Nylander doesn’t after July 1st in my opinion.
Chicago actually has cap flexibility this year and the big hurt for the cap is really Seabrook….. Keith is still overpaid but decent enough
agree. I believe they push to get marner done by the draft so they can explore markets and offers for Andreas, brown, kapanen, kadri.
and possibly looking to move Hainsey to make it easy , maybe in package deal for Right handed shot defenseman for 2nd or 3 pairing.
In a salary cap scenario, I find it awfully difficult to have 2 first lines, or I guess I mean to say I find it difficult to see how you can pay 2 first lines. Tavares turned down more AAV yes, but he’s still getting paid like a first line centre. So is Matthews. Back up the brinks truck for Marner, and Nylander got his. That’s too much money over too few positions.
This won’t happen, as such a move kills their current competitive advantage (strength up the middle), but they should trade Nylander and Tavares and spread that money over solid players at other positions (Leaf fans knows of the position I speak). Pick up a more manageable contract at the centre position as well perhaps.
The Cap killed this team once, looks poised to try it again. My opinion, you got to be ruthless or it will.
I agree. I don’t think they will not trade Kapanen though. They will trade Johnson though if he demands too much. McHeyev will b e a very good replacement. Brown and Ziatsev need to go to fit under the cap. Kadri goal scoring is declining significantly. He poses a problem getting suspended every year it seems. With these changes they will fit under the cap comfortably. Maybe they can get Pesce with Johnson trade,