The Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly listening to offers on several players including Nazem Kadri, Kasperi Kapanen, and Connor Brown.
Darren Dreger reported the news on Thursday afternoon, with the Toronto Maple Leafs salary cap situation looming over the off-season. It continues to be a major point of discussion among media and fans alike.
The team is expected to make several moves in order to remain compliant with the yet-to-be-confirmed 2019-20 salary cap.
It should come as no surprise, given the situation, as Kyle Dubas isn’t afraid of making moves to change the complexion of his team going into next season.
Several of the key RFA’s remain to be signed, headlined by Mitch Marner, and followed by Andreas Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen.
Considering the crowded right wing depth chart, Kapanen and Brown may be viewed as the odd men out. It helps that each player maintains reasonable trade value, but teams may not be willing to help Toronto out of their salary cap woes.
Perhaps the Leafs are looking to give Jeremy Bracco a chance at earning top-six playing time at a minimal cap hit. It would be a high risk, high reward gamble on the AHL All-Star, but it isn’t likely to happen without seeing his ability to contribute at the NHL level.
Kasperi Kapanen brings a valuable trait to the table in today’s game; speed. Now, more than ever, teams are looking to get younger and faster. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also shown an ability to score and play with talented players.
On the other hand, Brown’s 20-goal season seems further than two seasons removed. His value has diminished since that time, but he could still net a decent return for a team looking to shed salary. Not to mention, there’s a Connor McDavid connection in Edmonton, whom lack scoring wingers, from their time with the Erie Otters.
In the event of a Kadri trade, the Leafs must receive a comparable third line centre in return or have another deal lined up in order to stabilize the position. Beyond Auston Matthews and John Tavares, Toronto is one injury away from Frederik Gauthier and several Marlies centremen filling the void.
Kyle Dubas has his hands full as the 2019 NHL Draft commences this weekend in Vancouver, BC, despite reports that he, along with Morgan Rielly, will be in Toronto to march in Sunday’s annual pride parade.
Toronto doesn’t currently own a 2019 first-round draft pick after shipping theirs out last season as part of a package for Jake Muzzin, however, beneficial moves could still be made at the draft on Friday and Saturday.
With the futures of both Patrick Marleau and Nikita Zaitsev also still up in the air, Dubas appears to be gauging every possible option to improve the Toronto Maple Leafs and relieve their salary cap situation.