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NHL Rumors: Toronto Maple Leafs – Goaltending, Defense, Marner and Tavares

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – Then there are two episodes (of Canadian teams) on the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs and some of the decisions they will have to make in terms of scoring, blues. line, and big contracts for Mitch Marner and John Tavares.

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Friedman: “I think they also have to make decisions on the goal. I have to think about that, I like, I wonder how Samsonov feels? He started, he pulled. They made the right decision, but maybe you'll say, 'I want to go somewhere else.'

And with Woll, while he's certainly talented, they have to wonder, is he going to be healthy? Do we care about his health? So they will have to consider what they are going to do and the goals.

NHL Rumors: What changes need to happen with the Toronto Maple Leafs?

They will have to think about what they will do with their core four. You know, (Matthew) Knies obviously took a big step. They have a few hopes in (Fraser) Minten and Easton Cowan. They had very good years. Will they be good next year or do they still need some AHL seasoning?

They have cap room. They have to decide what they want to do in their defense. You know, maybe they weren't puck movers but those guys played hard. And like I said, those were three of Toronto's best defensive plays against this team. It will be fun.

You know, are they going to try to extend (Jake) McCabe? I heard more than the way he played, the organization loves him behind the scenes. Especially when they were down three games to one. A lot of attitude came from him, pride, in the team, pride in his teammates, us against the world mentality that would make Pat Quinn proud. Quinn was our king against the country and I wouldn't be surprised if they look at him and say, 'What can we do here?'

Will they keep Joel Edmundson for another year? They have already extended (Simon) Benoit. Like they have some flexibility and make some space, make some decisions.

But I definitely believe there will be change and I think the most interesting thing is, you know, what does Marner decide and based on his decision, what do they say to him? “

Marek: “Okay, so a couple of things there and then you just quickly backtrack to the green line. It's safe to say that TJ Brodie, Mark Giordano, who after a long time in Calgary are a good couple together, maybe the best couple in the NHL. I think that's the end of those two players with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I think we are wondering about Max Domi, who is on a one-year contract. Tyler Bertuzzi, who is also on a one-year contract.”

Friedman: “Yes.”

Marek: “Listen, Max Domi, we've talked about the fact that you know one man's injury is the probability you always like to say. Max Domi fits their hand in a glove and I think he really set himself apart.

I don't know what the situation is with Tyler Bertuzzi. Does Leaf want him to stay? Do you want to stay? I don't know the answer to everything.

I wonder how you did about Joel Edmundson. I thought he had a really good playoff game for the Maple Leafs, albeit a short one. Seven games and I think we're going to get rid of this streak that hit David Pastrnak outright.

But you're right, Jake McCabe has been the guy on that blue line. and they have him for one more year at a deeply discounted $2 million. I really wonder what happened there.

NHL rumors: Friedman's thoughts on the future of Toronto Maple Leafs Mitch Marner

But to go back to Bertuzzi and Domi and these types of players. One of the interesting things about all of this is Elliotte and this is not my point. This is a point made in countless other places. But the lion's share of the money is between Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares. However, the issue remains, not defending, but scoring goals here.

The problem here is that you're done with John Tavares' $11 million cap hit next season. Either John Tavares returns to the Maple Leafs at a reduced rate or he is not back with the Maple Leafs at all.

So when you make a decision about Mitch Marner, you find yourself in a situation where, again, I'm a guy that always reminds everybody that cap space is the thing. Cap area is an asset. No one…”

Friedman: “We'll talk about that in a second.”

Marek: “… (working??) there is nothing except that you are in a situation where, okay, we need to make a decision one by one, and in a year it will be a decision by two.”

Friedman: “Yes, I understand your point, Jeff, but I don't think you can take it back.”

Marek: “Oh, I'm not saying you put it back. I'm just saying, does this add up to anything?”

Friedman: “No. Whatever decisions you make now about your plan, you can make decisions the way you can contractually, right?

So you can't worry about Tavares in a year. I mean, you can use it to edit your cap, but, you know, someone said to me if they really want to send a message. I mean I really wanted to send a message. All they can do is buy Tavares.

Now for the salary cap idea. It doesn't make much sense. His salary is almost all bonuses and bonuses are guaranteed. Purchases are not affected. So next year, instead of paying, having a cap hit of $11 million, it will be the same as $10.4 (million). And the next year, you know you're going to have a $300,000 cap hit. So it doesn't really change your cap image, but boy, that sends shockwaves through your system.

Now the question is, now I can say this, I think there are GMs in the league who would absolutely look at that. I'm just not sure the Maple Leafs will do that. Like Tavares he has had some very useful moments as a player. So, but it was just nice that someone introduced this to me.

The thing about Marner is, you know Jeff, depending on what you said there, I was thinking about this, and Nylander, they weren't willing to lose the trade. If they were going to make that deal last summer, they weren't willing to lose the trade. They set the bar. They said if we traded him, they were getting this, a top defender who makes a difference.

If they really want to change their mix, they have to think about it, especially since Marner can't decide where he wants to go, they have to think about whether they can make a deal and look like they're losing, and say 'okay, we're going to do this but we're not going to do this trade, but to give us the power doing other things.'”

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