In what might be considered surprising news on Friday, the Toronto Maple Leafs got some internal business taken care of as they inked defenseman Morgan Rielly to an eight-year contract extension. The deal is worth $60 million ($7.5 million per season) and answers any questions about whether or not Rielly will test free agency at the end of the season.
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The deal includes a no-movement clause for the first six years and the final two years include a 10-team no-trade clause, as per Chris Johnston of TSN. Pierre LeBrun breaks down the deal as follows:
- Year 1, $8M (includes $4M SB)
- Year 2, $10M (includes $5M SB)
- Year 3, $10M
- Year 4, $8M
- Years 5-8, $6M per
Rielly is the latest on a long list of defensemen who have made big money on long-term extensions this season. His is one of the less expensive deals by comparison. Considering it buys 8 UFA years and Rielly is 27 years old, it will likely be his last big contract in the NHL as the deal will take him to the age of 36 when it is completed.
There was certainly talk that Rielly might test the free-agent market and some will likely ask why he didn’t when you consider he signed for less than the other big-ticket blueliners did. This deal likely speaks to his desire to remain in Toronto and with the Maple Leafs. As Darren Dreger writes, “If he goes to market he’s not certain of where he lands. He would only get 7 years between $8-9 million, or $56-63 million total). The 8th year gets him to $60 mil and gives the Leafs a break.”
Rielly has scored 309 career NHL points in 580 games, all with the Maple Leafs.
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