The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Offer Sheet This RFA Goalie

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a prime position to swoop in and sign Jeremy Swayman after Swayman and the Bruins decided to avoid filing for arbitrarion this summer. This situation could be a golden opportunity for the Leafs to nab the number-one netminder the club desperately needs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs must offer sheet Jeremy Swayman now that he and the Bruins have decided to avoid filing for arbitration
The Toronto Maple Leafs must offer sheet Jeremy Swayman now that he and the Bruins have decided to avoid filing for arbitration / Rich Gagnon/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending situation is better after the team signed Anthony Stolarz, but it's still not good enough.

With Auston Matthews embarking on his prime, the Toronto Maple Leafs are taking a huge risk moving forward with only the injury prone and inexperienced Joseph Woll to pair with Stolarz.

While this is most likely the Leafs goaltending duo when next season starts, it doesn't have to be.

The Boston Bruins and restricted free agent netminder Jeremy Swayman mutually chose to forego arbitration this summer. The Boston Herald reported that neither side wanted a repeat of last year’s arbitration experience.

While this situation most likely means that the Bruins and Jeremy Swayman are close to a new contract, the circumstances have also cast doubt on whether Swayman actually wants to stay in Boston.

Now, the Bruins have gone all-in on Jeremy Swayman. The club traded away Linus Ullmark to anoint Swayman as the number-one guy. The B’s would not have decided to trade Ullmark if they weren’t sure that Swayman would re-sign.

But there’s another twist to this situation. Since both the Bruins and Swayman chose not to file for arbitration, Swayman is now open to an offer sheet. That’s where the Toronto Maple Leafs could swoop in to get the goalie the club desperately needs.

The Cost For the Toronto Maple Leafs to Offer Sheet Jeremy Swayman

Here’s where things get tricky. Extending an offer sheet to Jeremy Swayman could get pricey in dollar terms and compensation.

Let’s unpack that.

The Boston Herald recently ran a piece in which it compared Jeremy Swayman’s new contract with the one the Nashville Predators recently gave Juuse Saros. Saros signed an eight-year deal to the tune of $7.74 AAV.

That comparison means that Swayman could potentially look at a new deal in the neighbourhood of $7 million per season. That sort of contract would mean the Leafs would have to move contracts in order to fit under the cap.

CapFriendly reports the Leafs are currently over the cap. As such, the Leafs could not fit Swayman’s new contract without moving a few players.

But wouldn’t it be worth moving contracts if it means getting a number-one goalie like Swayman?

The other issue is compensation. According to league regulations, clubs that offer sheet a player must provide compensation if that player signs. The compensation depends on the dollar value of the contract signed.

The Sporting News has a great reference chart that lists compensation based on a contract’s dollar value. So, let’s assume that the Leafs offer sheet Swayman at $7 million. That value puts compensation in the fifth bracket, meaning the Leafs would have to give up a first-round, second-round, and third-round pick as compensation.

That seems like a fair price for a high-end game-breaking goalie.

However, if the Leafs offer sheet Swayman under $6.435 million per season, the compensation is one first-round and one third-round pick, which is even better.

Given the Maple Leafs need to be a top team during Auston Matthews' prime, extending Jeremy Swayman an offer sheet is well worth a try. The Leafs could outbid the Bruins and lock Swayman in for seven seasons.


While fitting a massive contract under the cap would be challenging, the Leafs could figure a way out. The result would be a much higher chance at winning the Stanley Cup.