The Toronto Maple Leafs said they likely won’t be looking to make another big splash in free agency but Kyle Dubas didn’t close the door on other potential moves.
During his zoom call with the media, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas made it clear that his team was not done by any means but also made it clear the team was nowhere close on a potential deal with Alex Pietrangelo.
Dubas also said that assistant general manager Brandon Pridham has a plan to ensure the team is cap compliant heading into opening day. Teams can operate 10 per cent over the cap during the off-season which would be $8.15 million based on the current $81.5 million salary cap.
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Right now, the Leafs have $82,593,533 committed to 21 players right now and with Ilya Mikheyev and Travis Dermott looking for deals, that would give the Leafs the maximum 23 man roster. So logic would dictate that getting Pietrangelo to fit is less than likely but you can never say never.
With the St. Louis Blues signing Torey Krug to a seven-year, $6.5 million deal, many see that as the end for their captains run with the team even though general manager Doug Armstrong said they aren’t closing the door. When it comes to potential suitors for Pietrangelo, many point to the Vegas Golden Knights as the likely destination but like most teams, they would have to clear out space to make it work.
This is why it might seem premature to say the Leafs would be out of the running for the coveted free agent defenceman. However, the work to get him to fit under the salary cap won’t be easy by any stretch.
Firstly, the Leafs would have to move out a significant amount of salary to ensure the team doesn’t go over the 10 per cent threshold. This would mean subtracting contracts like Alexander Kerfoot and Andreas Johnsson at least to start.
Does this mean the team looks at other avenues to improve their defence? Seeing how some teams have moved out contracts the past few days, this could be an opportunity for the Leafs to consider.
If the team ultimately decides that making a move for Pietrangelo is not in the team’s best interest then the trade market might present some intriguing opportunities. With the upcoming expansion draft, teams have to consider moving players now or risk losing them to the Seattle Kraken for nothing.
Could this mean players like Matt Dumba, David Savard, MacKenzie Weegar? These might seem like a more sensible solution over Pietrangelo although like the addition of Brodie, it’s certainly in a tier below considering the Blue captain in a Norris Trophy calibre defenceman.
Whatever route Dubas chooses to take, we will probably figure out the direction in the not so distant future.
Do you think the Leafs are done making additions? Who should they consider as a potential target? Let us know in the comments below.