Days after the Toronto Maple Leafs extended William Nylander to a franchise record setting eight-year $92 Million dollar deal, general manager Brad Treliving needs to get back to work.
While defense for the Toronto Maple Leafs is the number one priority, other smaller tasks can be completed in the mean time like signing pending unrestricted free agent Bobby McMann.
The Wainwright, Alberta native has taken the long road to the NHL after being passed over by each team during multiple Entry Drafts. McMann played three seasons in the Alberta Junior A League (AJHL), then spent four seasons playing NCAA for Colgate University before signing a minor league deal with the Toronto Marlies part way through the 2020-21 season.
McMann broke out in his second season with the Marlies collecting 24 goals in 61 games during the 2021-22 season which led to an NHL contract at the end of that year. The big left winger would than make his NHL debut at 26-years of age last year when he dressed in ten games after scoring another 21 goals in 30 games.
Who Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Extend Next?
Many thought that McMann would crack the Toronto Maple Leafs roster this past fall, however, with the mindboggling signing of Ryan Reaves, McMann had to start the season in the AHL. He got a few opportunities in November when coach Sheldon Keefe decided to scratch Reaves for a couple games and he then earned a full-time role when Reaves went down to injury.
McMann has now dressed in 17 games this season, collecting his first NHL goal, while adding four assists. He has seen his ice-time increase recently with the lesser opponents, including playing a career high 12:59 Tuesday night where he rewarded his coach with a primary assist on a Pontus Holmberg goal.
It is unclear if there are even contract talks between the team and player, but Treliving needs to take advantage of one of the few areas the organization has over other teams which is having an abundance of money.
According to capfriedndly.com, McMann is coming off a two-year contract that carries a cap hit of $762,500 while with the Maple Leafs.
What the Maple Leafs have over other teams is cash, so the team can take advantage of two things, one of which being able to give large signing bonuses and the other is one-way contracts to fringe/replacement level players.
Treliving should offer McMann a multi-year one-way deal that guarantees him $800,000 whether in the NHL or AHL and could include a $25,000 signing bonus at the start of each season.
McMann could risk playing out the year and going to free agency in hopes to get a bigger contract, however he may end up just get something similar or he could end up nothing getting any one-way contracts.
If the two sides can agree on the contract, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have a fourth line player that is cap friendly, while the entirety of the contract can be buried if sent to the AHL; while the player has a guaranteed contract.