Report: Maple Leafs zeroing in on Matt Dumba

But, how can they make it work financially?



As it currently stands, the Toronto Maple Leafs are nearly $9 million in the hole in terms of the salary cap - which makes this report all the more puzzling. 

According to Sportsnet's Luke Fox, the Maple Leafs are interested in Minnesota Wild blue liner Matt Dumba, who is coming off the five year, $30 million deal he signed in 2018 that carried an AAV of $6 million: 

"Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin held steadfast that he would not move Dumba midseason unless it was for a comparable return. No offer came close to getting a trade done. Despite mutual interest, simple economics are forcing Dumba to sign elsewhere.

Dumba came into July 1 as the only UFA defenceman who shoots right, skates 21 minutes a night and is under 30 years old. The Toronto Maple Leafs took a run at making this work, according to Elliotte Friedman. The Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars poked around, too." 

So, how in the world would they be able to afford another contract on the books after having already signed Tyler Bertuzzi, Ryan Reaves and Max Domi? And then of course, there's the matter of needing to come to an agreement on a new contract for goaltender Ilya Samsonov, who filed for salary arbitration earlier today and will be looking for a raise from last season's salary of $1.8 million. 

The most obvious solution would be to trade one of their most expensive players in order to free up some much-needed cap space. Right now, forward William Nylander has seen his name pop up in many trade discussions, especially following reports that he and the Leafs are no closer to agreeing on a new extension before he hits the open market next summer. 

Dumba, who was drafted 7th overall by the Wild in the 2012 NHL Draft, has scored 79 goals with 157 assists in 598 career games played. His four goals and 10 assists in 79 games played last season were the lowest output of his career after his rookie season's total of eight goals and eight assists in just 58 games played. 

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Source: Sportsnet