New Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has quite the summer ahead of him.
Restricted free agent William Nylander will need a new contract before next season and both Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner have one year left and are eligible for extensions.
While appearing on Edmonton's 630 CHED, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman was asked about the likely hood of Dubas signing all three this summer and possibly adding a John Carlson type UFA, he doesn't believe it's likely.
“I don’t know if they’re going to do a John Carlson, to be perfectly honest,” said Friedman. “I think Nylander is probably a bridge deal right now. I don’t think they were hugely happy with the way he finished the season. I think if I was Nylander I’d bet on myself on a short-term bridge and go from there. I think if you sign a long-term a year ago (based on) the kind of year he had a year ago, his number would be much higher. So I don’t know if that’s as much of a concern right now.
“I think the thing that’s interesting is I’m not convinced that Matthews and Marner will sign this year. Now, I’m not saying it won’t happen. But I really believe it was a slam dunk that Edmonton was going to do whatever it could to get McDavid done last year and they did. I think Toronto will ask both of those players, but I’m not convinced that those players are going to do it yet.
“Again, you always wonder about these things turning into headlines, but I will just say this and I hope people will take it for the way I’m saying it: It’s that it wouldn’t be a huge surprise, I think, to a lot of people if Matthews and Marner both began next year unsigned.”
It's a very interesting situation to follow, especially with rumblings of a possible rift between Matthews and head coach Mike Babcock.