Leafs GM Secures Bright Future for Toronto's Defence

Published March 11, 2023 at 7:46

Kyle Dubas, Toronto's GM, has recently addressed some major needs before the NHL's March 3rd trade deadline. Dubas has also put the team's defense in a better spot for the future. They do not have any superstar defencsemen, but finding a star D-man is not easy, but Dubas has managed to create a stable group of defensemen that will last at least one more season.

This is merely a prediction based on the Leafs wining a couple of playoff rounds this year. If they are eliminated early in the playoffs, it may be the end for a good deal of the Leafs roster. But if Toronto does well, next season's defensemen are pretty much all set.

To start, Morgan Rielly and T.J Brodie will continue their careers with the Leafs. Jake McCabe is also set to stick around thanks to his affordable $2 million salary cap hit, and Timothy Liljegren is also set to return thanks to a low $1.4 million annual salary. Mark Giordano is also contracted to play in the 2023-24 season at only $800,000. Connor Timmins is also signed for the next two years at $1.1 million per season. In total, the Leafs are paying $17.8 million for 6 defensemen.

This is a decent value for the Leafs, considering that Ilya Samsonov will be an restricted free agent needing of a raise during the off season. This will be a significant raise on his current $1.8 million salary. Additionally, the Leafs must also deal with five UFA forwards this summer, this includes Michael Bunting, Ryan O'Reilly and Noel Acciardi.

Due to Toronto's cap crunch, it is highly unlikely that Alex Kerfoot, who is a pending UFA with a $3.5 million cap hit, and defensemen Justin Holl, who has a $2 million salary, will return to the Leafs. David Kampf, who has a salary of $1.5 million, can also be considered in this group. The trio share a combined cap hit of $7 million, which can be better spent on Bunting, O'Reilly, Acciari and Samsonov.

Despite all this talk, it is pretty safe to say that Dubas will not be moving superstars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, he will not consider moving William Nylander, and he certainly will not be able to find anyone willing to take John Tavares with his $11 million cap hit. It is safe to say that these four are safe.

March 11   |   261 answers
Leafs GM Secures Bright Future for Toronto's Defence

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