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Toronto Maple Leafs

Insiders Suggest “So Long, Farewell” to Two Maple Leafs This Offseason

The Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to lose a few players this offseason. Who ranks among the list that are most unlikely to return?

According to James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, consider both Ilya Mikheyev and Petr Mrazek of the Toronto Maple Leafs as good as gone next season. Taking a look at the offseason plans for Toronto, the two scribes fit both players into their So Long, Farewell category and suggested the Leafs would be moving forward and trying to have a better showing next season without both on the roster.

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When it came to Mikheyev, the scribes suggested that he’ll likely be leaving in free agency, taking the best deal available and a shot at a top-six role on a team, something he’s not likely to get in Toronto based on their depth at forward and salary cap restrictions.

They write:

“A big payday is coming, and the Leafs probably aren’t the team willing, or able, to pay it. Is it a lock that he’s gone? Maybe not. Perhaps Mikheyev doesn’t quite find the market he desires in free agency and the Leafs lure him back with a deal that’s heavy on security (with a lower cap hit). Mikheyev might still want more opportunity than he’s likely to get in Toronto.

They add he’s likely to get $4 million or more on the open market.

Ilya Mikheyev Petr Mrazek Maple Leafs
Ilya Mikheyev and Petr Mrazek of the Toronto Maple Leafs

When it comes to Petr Mrazek, they write:

We’ve seen some members of the fan base theorize that maybe the Leafs should just bring him back, but the cap math on that is very difficult. Mrazek has played the equivalent of just 28 games in terms of minutes in the crease over the last two seasons and had a disastrous .888 save percentage this year. It makes no sense to dedicate $3.8 million to such a big wild card in a pivotal season for the franchise.

They do admit that getting rid of Mrazke’s entire salary could be very difficult, which may lead to retention or even a buyout. The trick for the Leafs will be what other options are available and where negotiations with Jack Campbell ultimately go.

They also note that Alex Kerfoot, Ilya Lyubushkin and Colin Blackwell could be on the move as well, with the futures for Campbell and Jake Muzzin a real question mark. Both know that the Leafs have to do something, but also want to give this roster another crack at a playoff run because it is believed there’s more to give there.

Next: Oilers Get Contributions from Everyone in Flames’ Elimination

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  1. Pingback: Jason Spezza Retires From NHL, Joins Maple Leafs Front Office

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