In today’s Crier Media NHL rumors roundup, the Toronto Maple Leafs will need to make tough decisions based on the salary cap. Mitch Marner has high praise for the new GM and more news on Alex Galchenyuk and his shocking behavior is beginning to come out.
Marner Not Worried About Nylander and Matthews Deals
Mitch Marner has been praising GM Brad Treliving’s public support of the team’s core 4. Auston Matthews and William Nylander have yet to sign contract extensions, but according to Luke Fox of Sportsnet, Marner isn’t concerned but is open to helping his GM close a deal if asked.
Marner stated, “I know both of them have a strong attachment and desire to be part of this team, so we’ll have to wait and see. If it comes to it, I’m willing to get involved and help facilitate both sides. However, they’re not just teammates but also my friends, and I value that relationship.”
It shows that Marner is aware that the next 12 months will decide the future of the Leafs. Toronto will need to decide if they will try to force their window to stay open or if they will proceed to a full blown rebuild, or any plan in between those extremes.
Will Nylander Play Out His Contract?
But maybe Marner should be worried.
Because Jonas Siegel of The Athletic looked at the option of the Toronto Maple Leafs not trading or extending forward William Nylander this summer. Seigel suggests that it is a realistic option, even with the risk associated of Nylander potentially choosing to walk away from the team at the end of the season for no return. But is it beneficial for the Leafs in any way?
“It’s easy to feel like Leafs GM Brad Treliving has only two options with Nylander this summer: Sign him or trade him. But there’s a third path that Stanley Cup hopefuls, absent contract extensions, typically choose in situations like this. They keep the star, try to compete for the Cup, and maybe (hopefully!) sign that player later.” – Jonas Seigel, The Athletic, ‘The case for the Maple Leafs letting William Nylander play out his contract’ , 14 July, 2023
He did use David Pastrnak’s situation with the Boston Bruins as a precedent for choosing this option. Despite the risk of a star player leaving in free agency, the potential contributions in a season where the Leafs are trying to win a Stanley Cup outweigh any concerns. However, this is a team that has only won one playoff series in 20 years, so it’s still a significant risk, but with the moves Treliving has made to add inexpensive depth and grit, this may be the year to make that attempt.
While Pastrnak ended up staying in Boston, it took their GM nearly doubling his pay from a $6.67 million per season to $11.25 million for the next 8 years, taking him to the age of 35 when the deal expires. That option is not available to Treliving as the salary cap structure he is dealing with would prevent him from adding any depth, so this may be the most important file on his desk this summer.
Galchenyuk Threatened to Kill a Police Officer and His Family
According to a police report obtained by Katie Stang of The Athletic, Alex Galchenyuk faces multiple charges, including hit and run, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. When finally pulled over, the behavior he displayed was unstable, even trying to reach under his seat during the stop despite the warnings from the officer to not do so.
This led to the arrest. At that time Galchenyuk struggled with the officer during the arrest, leading to other officers arriving on scene to assist. The report goes on to state that while under arrest, Galchenyuk allegedly used a racist slur repeatedly, directed towards one of the officers and also threatened to kill him and his family. These comments and actions by Galchenyuk led to the Arizona Coyotes to terminate the contract that they had signed with the player only a week prior. This is the type of behavior normally seen by persons under the influence of some sort of substance.
Typically, when an NHL player is involved in an incident involving alcohol or arrested, that player will be contacted by the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program for evaluation. Galchenyuk will still be eligible to utilize the player assistance program despite his contract being terminated.
source – ‘Galchenyuk allegedly threatened to kill officer and family, used racist slur during arrest: Police report’ – Katie Strang – The Athletic – 07/14/2023
For his own sake, the hope is he finds help and sorts out his personal issues, especially if he hopes to play professional hockey again.