What Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Do With Their UFAs?

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
6 of 6

Ilya Lyubushkin

Lyubushkin brings a similar element to Edmundson.

Although he does not have the experience or Stanley Cup pedigree, I think he fits the Leafs better stylistically. He is a right-shot defenseman which is a definite need for the team.

He also has shown some ability to play alongside Rielly if need be although this certainly is not the most optimal pairing. However, both stints in Toronto has seen Lyubushkin play only a total of 50 games in the regular season. This is concerning as we have not seen him for a long stretch of time and with his poor performances over the past two seasons, the team should be careful about overspending on a replaceable player.

If he is willing to come in cheap (at or below the $1.15 million buried threshold limit) he could be worth signing.

His contract projection is a two-year deal worth just shy of $1.5 million per season which would be a little high for what he brings to the table. Although, the key for Lyubushkin may be stability as he has played on four different teams over the past three seasons, including two separate stints in Toronto most recently after coming back in a trade at this year's trade deadline.

The other option for him could be a move back to the KHL but his tools always seem to be coveted by an NHL team so he should be able to secure a contract, even if it is not in Toronto.

Max Domi 

In what was a long awaited homecoming, Max Domi signed a one-year contract worth $3 million last summer.

He was brought in to provide complimentary offence with a physical edge and he filled that role quite well, scoring nine goals and 47 points in 80 games. He also showed versatility playing both center and wing up and down the lineup at different points throughout the season, including some chemistry with star Auston Matthews on the top line. 

His next deal is projected to be two years for around $3.5 million. I would be willing to go as high as $4 million for three or more years and I think the Leafs should re-sign him if he’s willing.

Although he is a useful secondary player, if Pierre LeBrun of TSN and the Athletic is correct in the deal being between $5 million and $6 million, the Leafs should steer clear. He is very useful and a player the Leafs should definitely try to keep but with only a limited amount of cap flexibility, they cannot spend $6 million of their $18.5 million on a middle-six forward with limited upside.

Tyler Bertuzzi

Like Domi, fans had been clamouring for Tyler Bertuzzi to wear blue and white for some time.

He seemed to be a perfect fit to fill a Bunting/Hyman type role in the top-six after inking a one-year contract last summer. Unfortunately, it was an up and down season for Bertuzzi who only amassed six goals and 20 points through his first 46 games as Leaf. Luckily, he came around down the stretch finishing with 15 goals and 23 points in his final 34 games. 

It seems likely that between his struggles here and the amount he has moved around the past two seasons that he would prefer to settle somewhere. If his contract does indeed come in at or around the projected four-year and $5.27 million AAV, the Leafs should bring him back.


However, it seems likely that he could receive more money if he hits the open market which would make it hard for the Leafs to retain him. Like every other player on this list, the Leafs should be careful about overspending on ancillary pieces.