The first small step in getting a long-term William Nylander deal has been taken, along with moves to secure five other Maple Leafs.
Well in advance of Monday’s 5 p.m. EST NHL deadline, the Leafs extended qualifying offers to all six of their restricted free agents; Nylander, defencemen Justin Holl and Martin Marincin and forwards Miro Aaltonen, Frederik Gauthier and Andreas Johnsson.
Nylander, the first of the ‘Big Three’ up for a new deal along with Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, will be in line for a huge raise on his expiring entry-level contract after two productive NHL seasons. With 135 points in 185 games, it’s believed he’ll seek something near the six-year deal with an AVV of $6.67 million that his off-ice friend David Pastrnak managed to sign in slightly longer service in Boston.
Such length would also help the Leafs buy back a couple of years of free agency. Or Nylander could go shorter term on a bridge deal and let his talent do the talking for an even bigger pay day down the road.
ROOM ON THE BUS
Aaltonen has already stated his intention to go back to the KHL, a surprise move given he was expected to win a fourth-line role with the Leafs after a strong season with the Calder Cup champion Marlies. But the qualifying offer keeps him Leaf property should he return.
Qualifying offers are calculated from the base salary of a player and must meet the season’s minimum NHL salary.
There was some intrigue with all the other offers made on Monday, given general manager Kyle Dubas told reporters in Dallas at the draft “there is a few we won’t (qualify).”
But Holl and Marincin were two of the Marlies best blueliners last year, Marincin rebuilding his career under coach Sheldon Keefe and Holl playing well in a brief promotion to the Leafs.
Johnsson, who was called up late in the season, is expected to figure somewhere in the left wing plans of coach Mike Babcock, while Gauthier, a former first round pick, might yet find his way back to the Leafs after recovery from a severe leg injury prevented him from properly competing for the fourth line role last autumn.
SUMMER CAMP ROSTER NAMED
A wide range of players was revealed Monday as Toronto revealed its development camp roster for a week-long stay at the Mastercard Centre.
Barely 48 hours after they were drafted, eight of nine Leaf picks were among 46 invites undergoing medicals. Moved up a few days this season, the camp will feature on and off-ice training for skills and fitness for 27 forwards, 15 defencemen and four goalies. The group includes defenceman, top pick and 29th overall Rasmus Sandin of the Soo Greyhounds, one of 18 overall picks from previous NHL drafts.
Running the camp are Leafs director of player development Scott Pellerin, with Leafs assistant coaches Jim Hiller, D.J. Smith, Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe and Newfoundland Growlers ECHL coach Ryane Clowe. The only drafted player from Sunday not attending is 211th overall Semyon Kizimov from Russia. Junior goalie Ian Scott will not attend after practising with the Marlies right through their long AHL playoff run.
Two familiar surnames among the non-drafted players at camp are defenceman T.J. Fergus of the Erie Otters, son of ex-Leaf centre Tom, and Matthew Barnaby Jr., son of the Buffalo Sabre who had many run-ins with the Leafs. The younger Barnaby plays with Pembroke Lumber Kings of the CJHL, Keefe’s old tier II team, where he had 76 points in 62 games.
“Never thought they would let a Barnaby in the Blue and White,” tweeted Matthew Sr. on Monday. “Extremely proud and happy for him.
“In his words, uses hands much differently. Very good offensively, 6.25 (feet) centre with very good hands. Won’t win many fights, but will win with his mouth. Runs in the family.”
Other interesting invites by birthplace are David Levin, a Tel Aviv, Israel, forward who has been with the Sudbury Wolves, Texan forward Brady Ferguson, who played five games with the Marlies last year out of Robert Morris University and Tyriq Outon, a tall Tampa Bay goalie playing in the U.S. Premier League.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet notes that Dynamo St. Petersburg forward Pavel Rotenberg is related to KHL board member and business big shot Roman Rotenberg. The latter has also held the posts of first vice-president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and head of the Russian national team staff for analytics.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies