The New Year is just around the corner, which means several free agents can put pen to paper and sign a new deal ahead of the summer. Taking into account the projected new figure of $83 million for the cap space, as per Cap Friendly, the Maple Leafs’ projected cap space for next season is just over $26.7 million, which you all know is expected to be a major problem in Toronto...
Young stars Auston Matthews and teammate Mitch Marner are essentially guaranteed new deals in the summer, and many believe that they will combine for somewhere between $18 and $20 million per season. However, there are not the only players to consider in the re-signing process and that's also without considering any potential trade that might be coming to Toronto to, for example, boost the back end and become serious Cup contenders...
Chatter has been heard that the Maple Leafs could decide to shed veteran forward Patrick Marleau's salary before the start of the offseason. He has one more year after this at $6.5M and that might make next year’s cap situation a little difficult for GM Kyle Dubas. However, on Wednesday, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun reminded us why the Maple Leafs simply won't pull such a move.
Bardowm presented the sweetest picture Matthews celebrating Christmas with his family... his Toronto family that is. Unable to travel to California for the holidays to spend with his biological family, Matthews chose to stay in Toronto and spent it with Marleau and his boys. How cute!
After seeing the post, LeBrun explained that this is exactly why the Maple Leafs won't be able to part ways with Marleau, even if it'd be to help the team down the line in the future.
"For all those who think the Leafs need to shed Marleau’s contract this summer because of Toronto’s precarious cap situation, another reminder of how much the veteran has bonded with the young stars of that team. A player’s value isn’t just on the ice," posted LeBrun as he retweeted the picture of Marleau and his sons.
In his first season with the Maple Leafs, Marleau tallied 27 goals and 47 points in 82 games. This season, he has 19 points through his first 35 games and just recently tied for 30th on the all-time NHL goal-scoring list. While the man still holds value on the market, he is way more important to the young players on his team.
Photo Credit: Bardown