The Toronto Maple Leafs have reportedly completed a piece of business, although it may be a while before the news becomes official.
According to a report from TSN National Hockey League insider Bob McKenzie, arguably the league's top insider, it now appears that the Toronto Maple Leafs and former first round pick Kasperi Kapanen have come to terms on a brand new deal. McKenzie reports that this contract will be a 3 year deal that will pay Kapanen an average annual value of somewhere between $3.2 million per season to $3.4 million per season.
Now this deal is still not official, however McKenzie believes that there is a factor outside of Kapanen's agreement with Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and the Leafs organization. According to McKenzie it sounds like this deal will not be officially formalized until after Dubas and the Leafs have worked out the contract situation of restricted free agent Mitch Marner. Marner of course is rumored to be lined up for a mega deal, with the star forward reported having already turned down a contract offer that would have made him one of the NHL's richest players.
For fans of the Maple Leafs that have already been frustrated with the Marner situation this will likely only serve to add to that frustration. That being said getting Kapanen signed at a very reasonable number for the next 3 years has to feel like a win for the Maple Leafs, especially when you consider how contract negotiations have gone for them over the course of the past 2 seasons in particular.
Kapanen, a former 1st round pick (selected 22nd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft) has appeared in 133 games for the Maple Leafs thus far in his career. The young Finnish forward truly elevated his game in this most recent season however with Kapanen recording 20 goals and 24 assists for a total of 44 points over his 78 games played. All of those metrics were career highs and established Kapanen as an integral piece in the Maple Leafs offense.
It now sounds like it will be up to Mitch Marner as to when this deal is officially announced.