The postseason might have been hard on the Toronto Maple Leafs and the offseason doesn’t project to be easier… The free agent market opens in less than three weeks and the Maple Leafs have yet to extend offers to pending unrestricted free agent goalie Jack Campbell and forward Ilya Mikheyev.
According to TSN insider Chris Johnston, the Maple Leafs might just be getting ready to let top free agents walk this summer.
“What stands out to me is that the Leafs seemingly haven’t reached out to make an offer yet,” Johnston said of negotiations with Campbell and Mikheyev. “There’s ongoing dialogue and they’ve had discussions with the camps of those guys but no numbers exchanged, no real negotiation and this starts to feel like some guys we’ve seen walk out the door in the past when you look at Zach Hyman and Frederik Andersen in recent years.
“Keep in mind Mikheyev is looking to get $4-to-5 million on the open market and Campbell could even go north of that depending on where the goalie market goes on the 13th.”
We can understand that GM Kyle Dubas has tough choices to make seeing that the Maple Leafs only have a projected $7.84 million in space this summer, per CapFriendly, with 17 players under contract for next season.
In between the pipes in Toronto, goalies Petr Mrazek and Erik Kallgren are under contract for 2022-23. However, losing Campbell would definitely hurt the Maple Leafs’ situation in net. The latter posted a 31-9-6 record with a .914 save percentage and a 2.64 goals-against average this season. He was the starting goalie in all seven playoff games against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the postseason, recording an .897 save percentage and a 3.15 GAA. Campbell is coming off a two-year, $3.3 million contract signed with the Los Angeles Kings in 2019, prior to being traded to Toronto.
When it comes to 27-year-old Mikheyev, he is coming off a career-best season, in which he tallied 21 goals and 32 points. He added two goals and four points in seven playoff games.
On top of that, more players are set for unrestricted free agency next month, including trade-deadline acquisitions Ilya Lyubushkin and Colin Blackwell. Forwards *Pierre Engvall and Ondrej Kase along with defensemen Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin are slated for restricted free agency.
Fans in Toronto need to get ready for some upsetting changes this summer.