Who the Toronto Maple Leafs Could Lose to Free Agency This Summer

Toronto Maple Leafs logo on the ice ahead of their game. Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Toronto Maple Leafs logo on the ice ahead of their game. Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Ilya Mikheyev #65 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs UFA Forwards

The Leafs have been in far more difficult positions then they find themselves at the conclusion of this season. Dubas has four UFA and two RFA forwards waiting for their futures to be determined.

Brett Seney

Brett Seney has played the fewest NHL games of all the Maple Leafs’ pending UFA forwards. He has been in the lineup for just two contests with the Leafs and 53 for the New Jersey Devils. The 26-year-old center and left wing is likely to spend next season primarily in the AHL, just as he did this year. With the Marlies this season, Seney played 62 games where he recorded 17 goals and 42 assists for a total of 59 points.

Seney is someone who will garner interest as an above average minor-league player. He should be able to land a two-way deal (with expectation of him playing in the AHL) without much difficulty. With the Leafs having the forward depth that they do, it will continue to be difficult for Seney to crack the lineup as more than just an injury replacement. It would be in his best interest to join a new organization to get more opportunities, which is the most likely scenario.

Jason Spezza

Jason Spezza has been a fan favorite in Toronto. The veteran has made it very clear that the only team he will play for is the Maple Leafs. Spezza has been accepting single year deals at the league minimum in order to continue his NHL career in the Big Smoke.

Turning 39 in June, the right-winger will likely sign with Toronto for another year. It’s a low risk signing for the Leafs. The only way that Spezza doesn’t return to the Leafs for a fourth season is if he decides he’s ready to retire.

Ilya Mikheyev

Ilya Mikheyev has been fantastic for the Maple Leafs. At 27-years-old, he is earning an annual salary of $1.645 million. It’s a steal for the Leafs. Mikheyev is coming off a 32-point season in just 53 games. He potted 21 goals with 11 assists.

With top-six level skill and the ability to put the puck past goalies, Mikheyev should be eyeing a large pay upgrade. What remains to be seen is whether the Maple Leafs will be able to afford him once the market sets his price. Unfortunately, the most realistic scenario is that Mikheyev will get himself a great deal in a new city.

Colin Blackwell

The last UFA on the roster is Colin Blackwell. Acquired ahead of the trade deadline from the Kraken, the 29-year-old has played his role admirably. Just like Spezza, Blackwell is earning league minimum, which is a price the Leafs would gladly pay to retain his services. He has shown this year that he can earn himself a small raise in his next deal.

Apart from his short time with the Leafs, Blackwell doesn’t have history in Toronto. He may have interest in playing elsewhere. As a fourth-line forward who could be playing for $1 million or less next year, Blackwell should be able to find multiple suitors who want to add his style of play to their lineup.