In this post, I want to take a quick look at some decisions the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to make during the offseason. These decisions will include both the newcomers and players who have been with the team for a while.

Obviously, it’s way too early to think ahead about next season. However, I’m going to go there anyway.

Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 7-6 Loss to the Panthers

General Manager Kyle Dubas Brought in Key Pieces in Trades

General manager Dubas added what now look like three key pieces to the team at the trade deadline. First, he added the Russian Bear – Ilya Lyubushkin – to the team from the Arizona Coyotes. Lyubushkin has been all that was advertised. Big, physical, solid, but with little offensive upside. He’s a defensive defenseman. Great! The team doesn’t need his offense.

The @MapleLeafs have acquired D Ilya Lyubushkin and F Ryan Dzingel from the @ArizonaCoyotes in exchange for F Nick Ritchie and a conditional draft pick.


— NHL (@NHL) February 20, 2022

Then, from the Seattle Kraken, Dubas brought in his key piece Mark Giordano. He also brought in what’s turned out not to be a throw-in, Colin Blackwell. Blackwell is a solid player on a cheap contract, and I can’t imagine the team not re-signing him. He’s a UFA this summer.

Related: Three Takeaways from the Maple Leafs’ 6-3 Win Over the Flyers

Of the Newcomers, Who Can They Keep?

Now, who can stay from this group? Lybushkin is a UFA after this season, and I have to think the team wants him back. Giordano is also on an expiring contract, and he’s shared his desire to play in Toronto – his hometown.

He’ll probably do a modified Jason Spezza and sign for much lower than he’s getting now. But how much lower? I can imagine that the team likes what they’ve seen so far and would love to have him stick — if they can afford him.

What About Players on the Current Roster?

That’s just the newcomers. Players who have been in Toronto a while and are UFAs include goalie Jack Campbell, defensemen Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin, and forward Ilya Mikheyev. There’s not a player on that list the team doesn’t want. Again, how much will these players cost in a new contracts?

Jack Campbell goes to make a save for the Maple Leafs

I can also see them re-signing Pierre Engvall, who’s really discovered his speed and talent this season when partnered with Mikheyev. He’ll be an RFA. 

Just throwing it out there. How will the team keep these players? There’s a lot to think about.

Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 6-2 Win Over the Lightning

The post Thinking Ahead too Soon: Next Season, Who Can the Maple Leafs Keep? appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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