With the whole lot that has gone on over the previous 24 hours with the Toronto Maple Leafs, there are new questions to be piled on prime of outdated questions that required solutions. Specifically, how will the Maple Leafs shortly shifting gears on their GM have an effect on the gamers and their means or willingness to stick with a corporation that appears to be crumbling, or on the very least, unsure about their future?
As it stands now, the workforce doesn’t know who their GM goes to be heading right into a important time of their franchise’s historical past. Kyle Dubas is out, Jason Spezza has resigned, Sheldon Keefe could be tied to Dubas and gamers like Auston Matthews and William Nylander every have one 12 months remaining on their contracts and it will be doubtlessly disastrous to let both stroll right into a scenario the place they managed their very own destiny. To say the group is falling on doubtlessly exhausting occasions and ready to make monumental choices can be an understatement.
Both Matthews and Nylander can renegotiate contracts on July 1, and particularly, Matthews has a no-move clause that kicks in on that date. If he’s not signed to an extension, he might squash any potential commerce affords and merely stroll into free company and bolt. It was already going to be a tough spot for the Leafs, even with Dubas (somebody Matthews is shut to) doing the negotiating. With Dubas now out and an unsure GM coming in, what is going to Matthews suppose?
Related: Spezza Shows Loyalty to Dubas, Resigns From Maple Leafs Job
According to Elliotte Friedman, the NHL celebrity may merely wait issues out. Friedman notes, “I think at the very least now you have to be prepared for the possibility that he’s not going to commit by July 1 and you may have to go into next season without an answer…What’s the guarantee he or Nylander are going to commit by July 1?” In different phrases, why would both star need to commit long-term if neither is aware of the place this franchise is headed?
For instance, what if a brand new GM is available in and instantly trades Mitch Marner? What if Matthews solely desires to keep if Marner is a part of the workforce? The probabilities he has that reply by July 1 are slim. Or, what if each need to know who the brand new head coach goes to be, assuming the Leafs take away Sheldon Keefe and go in one other path? Will Toronto have fired Keefe and employed another person by then? It’s doable, however once more, it feels questionable.
Once That July 1 Date Hits, All Bets Are Off
Once the Maple Leafs and these two gamers get previous the purpose of no return, there’s not a lot incentive for both Matthews or Nylander to hurry into a choice. They can wait, see how the workforce does, what the roster appears to be like like, and then decide their vacation spot. Both may have loads of choices.
The solely leverage the Maple Leafs may have shall be threatening the concept both or each could possibly be traded in the event that they don’t commit. If each/neither don’t need to be dealt, maybe they consider signing. Even then, trades for such massive names take time. Are the Maple Leafs actually ready to pull the set off on a deal that feels rushed?
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