NHL Insider suggests the Leafs will trade Rielly if he doesn't sign an extension this summer

Published June 23, 2021 at 2:16 PM

There's a lot of intrigue among the Leafs Nation faithful over what the Toronto Maple Leafs have planned for the team's number one defenseman, Morgan Rielly after another disappointing first round exit from the playoffs.

Rielly is about to enter the final season of his 6-year, $30M contract which carries a $5M cap hit and is certainly due a large pay bump on his next deal, wherever that might be.

There are plenty of scenarios on the table where Rielly could remain a Maple Leaf and a few scenarios where he could wind up playing elsewhere, as soon as next season, but at this point, that seems to be entirely up to Rielly.

In an article released on The Athletic on Wednesday, PHWA writer and TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun stated that he believes that the Leafs are going to take a run at signing Morgan Rielly, and that he believes they will try to do that in August, After the expansion draft, entry draft and free agent frenzy, so they have a decent view of the field and have a better picture of where they stand.

While LeBrun believes that the Leafs' primary goal is to extend Rielly, he also didn't close the door on a potential trade, stating that if the Leafs and Rielly are unable to reach an agreement prior to the start of the season, GM Kyle Dubas could look to trade Rielly to maximize his return, rather than holding on to a depreciating asset and getting far less in return at the trade deadline.

As far as a salary expectation on Rielly, LeBrun pointed at the contract signed by St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug last offseason (7 years at $6.5M per season) as a potential comparable, acknowledging that Rielly very well may be worth more than that, but may take less than he's worth to remain a Maple Leaf.

I see Dougie Hamilton being the X-factor here. Perhaps if the Leafs are able to get Hamilton, the hometown kid, at a good price, they may be more amenable to dealing Rielly. The other idea here is that if Hamilton signs a lofty new deal away from Carolina (as he undoubtedly would have to take less to remain there), Rielly's agent J.P. Barry may want to use that deal as Rielly's comparable for a new deal.

Regardless of what happens, there's one thing that we simply cannot deny. The Toronto Maple Leafs will be a very interesting team to follow throughout the offseason.

June 23   |   187 answers
NHL Insider suggests the Leafs will trade Rielly if he doesn't sign an extension this summer

Should the Leafs trade Rielly?

Yes9651.3 %
No9148.7 %
Latest 10 stories