Have you heard? Kyle Dubas has a lot of work to do this summer. With Auston Matthews’ extension set to kick in and multiple key restricted free agents also in need of new deals, Dubas is going to have to do some tightrope walking to get everybody under the salary cap ceiling.
The Leafs have two obvious problematic contracts: Patrick Marleau (for one more year at $6,250,000) and Nikita Zaitsev (for five more years at $4,500,000). Finding teams to take on those two deals would make life much easier for Dubas as he looks to figure out deals for Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen, and Andreas Johnsson all while improving the roster.
Marleau was brought in back during the 2016 off-season when Lou Lamoriello was the general manager to be a veteran presence as the Leafs’ young core worked their way into the NHL. He had a strong season in 2017-18, racking up 28 goals, but his production dipped to 16 goals in the 2018-19 season and he was a non-factor in the playoffs this year. There’s no doubt he’s been an excellent leader to have on the team, but, a team in a cap bind can’t afford to pay him $6,250,000 …
Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation