What we’re listening to in regards to the Maple Leafs’ many free brokers and their futures

The adjustments proceed in Toronto because the seek for the Maple Leafs’ subsequent common supervisor continues following Kyle Dubas’ shock exit.

When that subsequent GM is known as, they’ll haven’t any scarcity of selections to make in a brief period of time. On the high of the checklist is whether or not to maneuver one or a number of members of the crew’s ahead core, however as July 1 creeps nearer, not far under on that very same checklist is how one can method free company.

The Leafs at the moment have 13 unrestricted free brokers who performed within the NHL this season to make choices on, in addition to a handful of restricted free brokers – together with their No. 1 goalie.

Briefly: Not an insignificant elevate for the subsequent GM. As we look ahead to the subsequent Leafs GM to be named, right here’s what I’m listening to about these free brokers.

What a pleasing shock Luke Schenn was for the Leafs after being added from the Canucks on the commerce deadline.

Initially regarded as an outsider within the high six heading into the playoffs, Schenn ended up being one of many crew’s most dependable and greatest defenders within the playoffs, alongside Morgan Rielly. You bought the sense Schenn – initially drafted fifth by the Leafs in 2008 – genuinely needed to be in Toronto, and that was mirrored within the consolation he confirmed along with his play on the ice.

When the Leafs acquired Schenn on the commerce deadline, there have been very temporary conversations a couple of potential extension on his two-year deal ($850,000 AAV).

Although these conversations occurred with the Dubas-led regime, you marvel if there’s nonetheless a street for him to return to Toronto.

Former Flames GM Brad Treliving is taken into account one of many frontrunners for the job and it’s believed Treliving is a fan of the defenceman and tried to accumulate Schenn at a number of commerce deadlines.

If Treliving finally ends up being the GM Shanahan hires, and if he’s offered with the choice to signal Schenn to an extension, there’s at the least some real familiarity with the participant.

What sort of quantity would Schenn be searching for, although?

Schenn is 33. Earlier than his final deal, he had been on three straight one-year contracts. If he could also be searching for one thing longer than a one-year deal at round $2 million per yr.

My sense is Schenn wish to return to Toronto and isn’t fazed by the pressures that include taking part in for this crew. He tailored seamlessly to the crew, counting on his familiarity after his first 4 seasons had been spent with the Leafs.

And his sturdy playoff run spoke for itself. Because it stands, the Leafs don’t have a tough-nosed defender along with his playoff expertise on the roster and in a position to play significant minutes subsequent season.

David Kampf might need cooled off in his second season as a Maple Leaf however the defensive-minded centre nonetheless offered large worth for his $1.5-million AAV over his two seasons in Toronto. Given how he could be trusted to take defensive zone attracts, be the primary participant despatched over the boards on the penalty kill and his reliability (Kampf was one among simply two Leafs to play in all 164 regular-season video games over the past two seasons) he’s due for a hefty elevate.

It’s believed the Leafs engaged in some casual discussions with Kampf about re-signing in Toronto this season. Like many gamers on this checklist, Kampf can be open to a return to the Leafs however the crew’s wage cap state of affairs nearer to July 1 might dictate whether or not that occurs. He could need to double his present AAV.

Alex Kerfoot featured in each regular-season recreation for the Leafs over the previous three seasons offering power and defensive effort and was comfy shifting to totally different strains every time essential. It’s been reported that as a substitute of transport Kerfoot out to St. Louis on the deadline to shed his $3.5-million AAV within the commerce for Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari, Dubas held on to Kerfoot and paid a fourth-round decide to the Wild to eat 50 p.c of O’Reilly’s wage as a substitute.

After all, you might argue the ten objectives Kerfoot scored final season didn’t present sufficient worth for his cap hit. However in comparison with another gamers on this checklist, it’s not as seemingly Kerfoot would get a severe wage improve on his subsequent contract.

The Leafs didn’t have interaction in any significant contract discussions with Kerfoot in the course of the season. If his wage calls for keep in the identical ballpark as his final contract, there’ll inevitably be groups coveting his companies. He’s a mature, revered locker room voice and the door hasn’t utterly closed on Kerfoot taking his voice again to Toronto, both.

Ryan O’Reilly didn’t commit someway throughout his year-end availability when requested about his future. He was Dubas’s greatest swing and made a notable influence in opposition to the Lightning within the first spherical.

“I’m so grateful I used to be in a position to be introduced into (the Leafs group),” O’Reilly stated. “I’m sorry we couldn’t get the consequence we needed.”

O’Reilly is 32 and coming off a seven-year take care of a $7.5-million AAV. Whereas he may not command the same AAV in his subsequent deal, his expertise alone may get him to a quantity that’s out of the Leafs’ worth vary. He’s in all probability an AAV within the $5.5 million vary.

One factor I ponder: If O’Reilly and the Leafs aren’t in a position to come to phrases on an extension, would a return to St. Louis make sense for him?

The Blues look to have just below $5-million in cap house because it stands, which could make issues tight. Blues GM Doug Armstrong stated in his year-end availability that he hasn’t determined if his crew can have a captain subsequent season, earlier than dropping one little trace price noting: “I assure we gained’t be asserting one within the subsequent few months.”

Is it potential Armstrong waits to see if O’Reilly is on the market and tries to deliver the previous Blues captain again?

Noel Acciari. (Dan Hamilton / USA At this time)

Control what occurs with Noel Acciari. We all know the ahead was beforehand coveted by the Leafs earlier than a commerce deadline deal introduced him and O’Reilly to Toronto. Acciari stated he’d “like to” return to Toronto subsequent season. He earned $1.25 million on a one-year deal final season and did what was anticipated of him within the playoffs by bringing physicality and forechecking with a relentless work ethic.

Acciari poked enjoyable at himself throughout his year-end availability, saying his hope subsequent season was “simply to get a contract.”

Acciari could also be in for a modest elevate but when the Leafs can get Acciari on the same quantity to his present deal, that’s an avenue they need to discover.

“Enjoying in Canada, you need to be a Maple Leaf. It was very particular. I used to be very lucky to get traded right here,” Acciari stated.

After back-to-back seasons with 23 objectives on a measly $950,000 cap hit, Michael Bunting has earned a severe elevate on a longer-term deal — maybe at an AAV of greater than $5 million. It feels unlikely he will get that elevate from the Leafs.

“That’s the unlucky a part of this enterprise, when contracts are up and choices should be made. To be trustworthy, I haven’t even actually considered it,” Bunting stated throughout season-end media availability.

Bunting stated he didn’t have any contract extension discussions with the Leafs in the course of the season. He spoke with a way of finality throughout that availability.

“Coming dwelling, taking part in in Toronto, it’s been a dream of mine,” Bunting stated. “It’s been fairly particular to play right here.”

With a .919 save share, Ilya Samsonov put collectively the perfect season of his profession, making good on the one-year, $1.8-million wager on himself he made. He usurped Matt Murray for the beginning position in the course of the season and have become a likable character across the crew.

Crucially, Samsonov is an RFA and the Leafs management his rights. You must consider he’s seen as an vital a part of the Leafs’ future shifting ahead, however let’s not overlook: Samsonov was additionally an RFA with the  Capitals and they didn’t decide to re-sign him. It’s believed Samsonov wish to keep in Toronto.

Talks between Samsonov and the Leafs will seemingly start on the NHL’s draft mix in early June.

Samsonov has earned the fitting to hunt a long-term deal, if that’s what he’s after. He’s eligible for arbitration, however I don’t assume that’s a street he’d choose to go down.

All through Justin Holl’s complete eight-season tenure within the Leafs group, he was one among Dubas’ guys. It’s price remembering right here that when Holl was taking part in his greatest hockey for the Leafs, all of the credit score went to Dubas for unearthing him from the ECHL.

And so with Dubas now not the GM, it feels seemingly Holl strikes on. He offered good worth for his $2-million cap hit and although he must be due for a elevate, as a right-shot defender who can transfer the puck and kill penalties, he seemingly will (and may) entice suitors all through the league.

There wasn’t loads of alternative for Erik Gustafsson to stake a declare on the Leafs blue line after being acquired on the deadline however when he did play, the 31-year-old confirmed he was able to offering offence. He was one among simply two Leafs defencemen to attain within the playoffs and with extra alternative, may be capable to contribute on a second power-play unit.

It doesn’t sound like there’s been any communication from the Leafs to Gustafsson a couple of potential return now that his one-year $800,000 contract is up. Gustafsson hopes to land a multi-year deal, is due for elevate and there are six Leafs defencemen signed for subsequent season. That might change with a brand new GM, in fact. We’ll see.

Erik Kallgren. (Kevin Sousa / NHLI through Getty Pictures)

After two seasons bouncing up and down between the Marlies and the Leafs and logging 24 NHL video games, my sense is Erik Kallgren is solely in seeing a pathway to a bonafide NHL backup job. Kallgren is a Group 6 UFA, having not accrued the required 28 video games of NHL expertise. And with Joseph Woll having seemingly gained over the group along with his play, Ilya Samsonov an RFA and Matt Murray’s future lingering as a sizeable TBD, I’m unsure if Kallgren sees that with the Leafs.

Kallgren will probably be 27 across the time subsequent season begins. He’s a profession .892 NHL goalie and you may perceive his perception in himself and his talents on the NHL stage.

Like each participant on this checklist, the door isn’t essentially closed on a return to Toronto given the turnover within the entrance workplace and the brand new priorities the incoming GM could or could not have. However with Keith Petruzzelli, Dennis Hildeby and Vyacheslav Peksa all underneath contract subsequent season and all prone to log time with the Marlies, Kallgren’s time in Toronto could very nicely have come to an finish.

I chatted with two Marlies who hung out with the Leafs this season and at the moment are RFAs: Pontus Holmberg and Filip Kral.

Holmberg, 24, particularly, was trending towards an NHL spot this upcoming season or at the least he was underneath Dubas, who definitely valued the good, defensive centre and touted him as an NHL participant.

Holmberg performed 37 video games for the Leafs in the midst of the season and desires to stick with the group.

“I don’t have a contract. I hope I’m right here. I like Toronto,” Holmberg stated.

To assist him get that contract, Holmberg stated he plans to spend his summer season creating a extra highly effective shot and be taught to be stronger on his stick.

“There are a lot stronger gamers within the NHL,” Holmberg stated.

Kral, 23, had an up-and-down season in Toronto. He made his NHL debut but in addition suffered a severe shoulder damage in addition to a bout of vertigo that took him two months to recuperate from.

“It was bizarre. It felt like I used to be on a ship for the higher a part of two months,” Kral stated.

He’s since recovered nevertheless it’s price questioning how the Leafs will find yourself seeing Kral’s position within the group shifting ahead. He’s a popular participant who performs a clear, mistake-free recreation, however the Marlies have lengthy needed him to be a extra physically-imposing defenceman.

Will there be sufficient confidence from the group that Kral can transfer previous his damage and never second-guess himself when attempting to make bodily performs?

“I had that in my head quite a bit in December after I was attempting to get again with my shoulder. Virtually each time after I went right into a battle, it harm. However now I really feel high-quality,” he stated.

Lastly, one title I’ve had thrown at me as a potential UFA match for the Leafs on July 1: Josh Archibald. The 30-year-old is coming off a one-year $900,000 deal and will very nicely are available in at the same quantity this upcoming season. The best winger’s bottom-six position with the Penguins was restricted (9:59 ATOI) however when he was on the ice he introduced a forechecking capability and, crucially, drew probably the most penalties per 60 minutes (2.33) of any NHL participant with at the least 60 video games performed final season.

(Prime picture of Ryan O’Reilly: Gavin Napier / Icon Sportswire through Getty Pictures)

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