In case you missed it, the Toronto Maple Leafs made the odd decision to cancel their team practice yesterday and instead general manager Kyle Dubas met with the media.
Fans and analysts were expecting maybe a trade announcement or, even more likely, a contract extension announcement for pending RFAs Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Well… close, but no cigar. Dubas did indeed offer an update on negotiations between the club and Matthews, but admitted that there’s been no progress made with Marner.
According to Leafs insider Chris Johnston, Dubas has reported that the team has made progress on an extension with Matthews and hope to have it in place before the February 25th Trade Deadline. Marner, however, would prefer to wait until the offseason to negotiate.
Check it out:
Even more interestingly, while Dubas was meeting with the media and as his media responsibilities spilled out into the afternoon and evening, his scouting staff was hard at work scouting the Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames game.
Check out this report from TSN’s Darren Dreger in which Dreger asserts that the Leafs are still hotly pursuing a defenseman from the Hurricanes:
Interesting. We know that the Hurricanes were linked to the Leafs in regards to William Nylander before he signed ahead of the December 1st deadline, but obviously nothing transpired. There have been rumors that Dougie Hamilton, Jaccob Slavin, Justin Faulk and Brett Pesce could all be on the trade block in Carolina and it’s clear that the Leafs could use a blue liner of their ilk. Stay tuned, Leafs fans… things could get interesting.