Leafs extend qualifying offers to RFAs Sandin & Engvall, let Kaše test free agency

The deadline to submit qualifying offers to pending restricted free agents came and went on Monday. The Leafs extended offers to Rasmus Sandin and Pierre Engvall to maintain their exclusive negotiating rights but decided against qualifying Ondřej Kaše, Kristiāns Rubīns, Joseph Duszak, Chad Krys, and Ian Scott.

The following #LeafsForever players did not receive qualifying offers:
Ondrej KaseJoseph DuszakKristians RubinsChad KrysIan Scotthttps://t.co/BPt2vFET34
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 12, 2022

Qualifying Sandin was a no-brainer and the club will continue to work on getting him signed to an extension in the coming days and weeks. The Leafs’ 2018 first-round pick missed significant time this past year, including the last part of the season and playoffs, but performed well when he was healthy, all but establishing himself as a full-time NHLer. Sandin suited up in 51 games, registering five goals and 11 assists while putting up strong underlying numbers.

Engvall also established himself as a bonafide NHL forward last season, putting up a career year with 15 goals and 20 assists in 78 games. He is eligible for arbitration and those numbers could result in a salary beyond what the Leafs would like to pay so you can expect they will be focused on getting him signed to avoid the arbitration process. Perhaps the Leafs could convince Engvall to take a lower number by giving him a bit more term on his deal.
Like Engvall, Kaše was also eligible for arbitration, and through he provided value to the Leafs last season when he was healthy, the club was likely a bit gun shy regarding his potential arbitration award. He is a unique case in that he has put up impressive numbers over his career but that very career is forever in limbo due to his unfortunate injury history and recurring concussion-related concerns. In the end, the prospect of an arbitration award that the Leafs couldn’t handle was just too risky and the player will get a chance to test free agency, though it sounds like the door is still open for a potential return for Kaše.

Ondřej Kaše will become an unrestricted free agent after not being tendered a qualifying offer by the #leafs, but sources say the door isn’t closed on a return.
More on that situation and Toronto’s other QO decisions here https://t.co/7Mu2CNfA8G
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 11, 2022

Of the other players the Leafs decided to move on from, Rubīns was the only mild surprise. Still just 24 years old, he had worked his way up from the ECHL to earn an NHL contract and finally made his debut for the Leafs last sea …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

REPORT: Maple Leafs don’t qualify Kristians Rubins

As the qualifying offers trickle out to the public, it appears one Maple Leaf didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the organization he began his pro career with.

According to @UlvisBrozhe, the Maple Leafs did not qualify Kristians Rubins.
Unless the two sides can find a way to make a deal happen, he’s off to free agency. https://t.co/jxi6nPw7hW
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) July 11, 2022

Rubins’ qualifying offer was set to $787,500 and it looks like Toronto has decided to part ways with the 24-year-old. He spent almost all of last season in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies, but did emerge as a possible seventh defenceman in the future.
There’s always a chance he re-signs with Toronto, but at that low of a number, I doubt he returns.
More From TheLeafsNation.com:
Goaltending is the number one priority heading into free agency by Nick Barden

Reviewing the Leafs’ 2022 Draft Class by Nick Richard

Ondrej Kaše will cost too much to return to the Leafs, most likely by Ryan Hobart

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Ilya Samsonov is heading for free agency and could be the best option for the Maple Leafs

Qualifying offer day never disappoints and as the deadline passed we began getting some interesting names materialize on the list. The most interesting, at least from a Leafs perspective has to be Ilya Samsonov.

#Caps have extended qualifying offers to forward Damien Riat and defenseman Tobias Geisser. Both players are expected to play in Europe during the 2022-23 season. #Caps elect not to issue a qualifying offer to goaltender Ilya Samsonov.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) July 11, 2022

Considering that just last week, the Capitals fully intended to qualify Samsonov this comes as a pretty big surprise, especially when they’ve already unloaded a goaltender on New Jersey this week. Obviously this is a pretty good sign that the rumoured Darcy Kuemper deal with Washington is essentially done and we’re just waiting until 12 on Wednesday to make it official.

The decision not to qualify Samsonov was a financial decision. As an RFA (with arbitration rights), the #Caps projected that he’d come in at $3-$3.5 million per, which, in their view, was too much for a backup and not justified based on his performance to date.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) July 11, 2022

For the record, if that is what his arbitration case is projected as, some team (read: The Toronto Maple Leafs) should have considered acquiring Samsonov to get him on a good short term bargain deal for a year or two before negotiating. It seems far more likely (and maybe to Samsonov’s benefit) that he can negotiate on the open market. As for the Capitals, we have to assume that they will aggressively be competing with the Leafs in the backup goaltender market. The fun never ends.

I still believe the Caps are front-runners for Darcy Kuemper but obviously Toronto equally on the lookout for goalie help if Jack Campbell lands …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation