Who’s To Go From Toronto’s Core Players

May 10, 2024

Instead of talking about Brendan Shanahan talking about change being on the table, it’s time to look at who could be on the outside looking in at hopefully a deep Toronto Maple Leafs playoff run in 2025.

Before we go into who can go from the team’s core, two members who did have limited playoff action, performed well, plus contributed to some of the team’s three wins and had successful regular seasons, are Auston Matthews and William Nylander. The two members of the Leafs had 107 and 98 points on the season, plus Matthews did pot 69 goals so they are safe in my eyes, that and the fact that both men are starting contracts, where Matthews will make $13.5 million till 2027-2028 and Nylander is entering an $11.5 million contract until 2031-2032, hence why neither member isn’t moving this summer, that and the fact that Auston Matthews is your golden goose number 1 pick who is a face of the league.

Next, we have one that fans would like to see go but I don’t think either is getting moved. Captain John Tavares is entering the final year of his $11 million contract that he signed in 2018. Look I know he’s lost a step and isn’t a spring chicken anymore, but he still got 29 goals and 65 regular-season points, he also did set up Matthews Knies for the OT winner in game 5. That is not why he isn’t moving though. No team is going to eat the full $11 million, Toronto would take a massive loss probably on draft capital while eating at least 25% which translates to $2.75 million, aka that is a depth winger signing and Johnny is a good locker room glue guy who next offseason will probably sign for like 5-6 million and stay a Leaf for the rest of his career, unless he wants to chase a ring elsewhere.

Then there’s the fortnite dancing, playoff ghost who no one likes in Mitch Marner, now for as much as I want Marner gone, he does have a NMC clause which means the ball is in his court and he picks his next adventure. He can either give a list of teams he’d be ok going to from 31 all the way to 1 or he can wait out next year, test free agency and not get an 8 year deal only a 7 year deal and Toronto loses him for nothing. I don’t think that will happen, Toronto will want to recoup assets for a player of Marners caliber because losing him for nothing is a bad look on management.

Here’s a twist, remember in 2018 when DeRozan was traded out of the blue for Kawhi Leonard, and you know how Toronto needs a true number 1 defenceman? Well there are teams out there who would trade for, wait for it, Morgan Rielly. He is signed at $7.5 million until 2029 – 2030 so he does come with security and like DeRozan arrived here when it was bleek for the Maple Leafs and they weren’t a well run team. There’s a lot of defenceman you can replace Reilly with and even though, Morgan’s been through it all with this organization, moving him isn’t the worst idea in the world. Think about it. Take his 7.5 and give that to a piss and vinegar defenseman.

Well, let’s see what happens between now and labour day, hopefully change comes otherwise it’s Go Leafs Go until they emotionally hurt you again next spring.

Griff Bordignon

Hi, my name is Griff and I'm a complete sports nut. I love to play sports, watch sports and most importantly bet on sports too. If I'm not watching or betting on sports, you can find me on the golf course, between the pipes as your average beer league goaltender. Although sports take up most of my life, I also love spending time with my two dogs, streaming usually a 90's Simpson's or attempting to read more books.

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