There are quite a few challenges forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ new basic supervisor (GM) Brad Treliving. The primary is discovering a option to make Auston Matthews completely satisfied and guarantee him that the staff is able to take the subsequent step in its growth. The second is deciding if Sheldon Keefe goes to be his head coach.
Subsequent in line has the be the goaltending scenario. At present, the staff’s roster consists of two goalies – Matt Murray and Joseph Woll. Ilya Samsonov’s current contract is ending and he’s a restricted free agent (RFA) with arbitration rights as of July 1.
Joseph Woll Appears to Be a Lock for One of many Two Goalie Spots
Woll is a lock for one of many two spots on the roster. He actually performed his means onto the staff along with his efficiency in each the common season and the playoffs.
One different issue at play with Woll is he’s now not waiver exempt. If the Maple Leafs had been to aim to ship Woll to the staff’s American Hockey League’s (AHL) Toronto Marlies, he must clear waivers. With what he has proven thus far and at a salary-cap hit of simply $766,667, there’s no means he would go unclaimed.
Each Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov Pose Potential Issues
Each of the opposite two goalies pose potential issues for the group.
Murray was the catastrophe many individuals predicted he could be the minute former Maple Leafs’ former GM Kyle Dubas acquired him. He would possibly play properly, however he simply wasn’t in a position to keep wholesome. It will be a large gamble to hope that he might even play a backup function subsequent season.
Getting Samsonov signed to a brand new deal could be the higher possibility; nonetheless, relating to his scenario there’s one phrase right here that scares the bejeebers out of groups – arbitration. The arbitration course of can get ugly.
What occurs in these circumstances is that the participant and his agent current arguments to an unbiased arbitrator as to why the participant ought to receives a commission what they assume he ought to. That’s normally a a lot larger quantity the staff feels he ought to get. In return, the staff argues why the participant ought to receives a commission a a lot lesser quantity.
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If the arbitrator guidelines in favour of the participant, the staff has the selection of paying the participant that quantity or letting him stroll. Up to now, it is not uncommon that relationships between the participant and the staff will bitter over the method of arbitration. It will be higher if the method might be prevented altogether.
Cash Is the Largest Impediment to the Murray vs. Samsonov Dilemma
The largest impediment to the entire Murray vs. Samsonov downside is cash. Extra particularly, it’s Murray’s contract. The Maple Leafs are on the hook for a cap hit of $4.69 million for Murray this upcoming season. To make issues worse, Murray is owed $8 million in precise pay.
Whereas buying and selling Murray and his contract shouldn’t be inconceivable, it is going to be extraordinarily troublesome to provide you with a taker, and would almost certainly price the staff rather a lot in incentives to make the deal occur. Maple Leafs’ followers will keep in mind the staff having to connect a first-round draft decide to a commerce that divested themselves of the final yr of Patrick Marleau’s contract.
Any deal involving Murray would undoubtedly have to incorporate wage retention. Probably the Maple Leafs must pony up the utmost 50 % allowed, if no more. It may also contain the addition of one other staff into the method and the lack of extra property.
Another choice could be shopping for Murray out. In keeping with Capfriendly.com, the associated fee to try this could be $687,500 in cap house for the 2023-24 season, and one other $2 million in cap house for the 2024-25 season. In the event that they resolve to go that route, the buyout window occurs within the final two weeks of June. That call must be made quickly.
The most suitable choice for the Maple Leafs could be if Murray was deemed bodily unable to play subsequent season. In that case, his entire contract might be positioned on long-term injured reserve. The edge for that appears to be fairly low, however Murray must comply with it.
In a super world, the Maple Leafs might discover a option to take away Murray’s cap hit from the roster and use that cash to pay Samsonov. The worst-case situation could be the Maple Leafs not discovering a option to take away Murray’s cap hit. There could be no means they might afford to have each Murray and Samsonov’s contracts on the books.
What If the Maple Leafs Determined to Half Methods with Each Goalies?
If the Maple Leafs had been to resolve, for no matter motive, to half methods with each Samsonov and Murray, there are few high quality goalies on the market who is perhaps accessible. Those which might be might get scooped up shortly.
There are various the explanation why the Maple Leafs have to get the goaltending scenario found out and found out shortly. Seemingly this dilemma has already been a subject of debate throughout the new administration staff of the Maple Leafs. Followers will seemingly know shortly what the choice might be. We will’t think about a plan shouldn’t be already in place.
[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]