Dreger: Leafs and Morgan Rielly are talking extension

Despite team president Brendan Shanahan remaining mum on the situation in radio appearances earlier today, TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that the Leafs have in fact begun contract extension talks with Morgan Rielly.

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“There’s nothing imminent, but there’s obviously a strong appetite from Lou Lamoriello and the Toronto Maple Leafs to get something done. Short term seems unlikely – a longer term of five or six years seems more likely, but they’ll get into that when the heavy lifting of this negotiation hits full stride.
If you’re talking about a five or six year term… you’re looking at an average annual salary of somewhere between $4.5M and $5.5M per year.”

Rielly, 22, is coming off his three-year entry level contract. In 82 games this season, he lead all Leafs defencemen in points (36) and ice time (23:13). 

Thomas Drance wrote about Rielly’s next contract just last week – it’s an excellent read and I highly suggest you go back and check it out if you haven’t already. In it, Drance came to a similar conclusion as Dreger, saying that Toronto will likely be looking at Carolina defender Justin Faulk’s six-year, $29M as a baseline for negotiations, and that Rielly’s cap hit could crack the $5M mark.

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  • Gary Empey

    The only thing I would add is: how agents view the salary cap. There was a time when veteran players could expect to a big payday in their late twenties as UFA. The cap was designed to kill that. Some agents have opted to have their players hit UFA as soon as they can. Today this is when their market value is sky high. All of this is still fairly new territory. Though we have seen solid players in only their late twenties forced to except low-ball offers. Typical patterns have not been set yet. I think some agents and GM’s are watching the other guys to get a handle on it. I believe this is the main reason Lamoriello was hired. Today’s contracts are very complex. It is an area where major mistakes can be very costly to a team’s future. I think we have all seen this close up. Not only is the bottom line important to the team, it is also important to the expected short career of a hockey player and his agent.

    • CMpuck

      Yeah, reminds me of last seasons internet darling Cody Franson that turned down 16+ million over four years to get paaaaaaid that sweet UFA money.

      GMs are starting to figure how caps work, players will routinely get paid on potential like the NBA. It’s going to be funny to see which teams get saddled/burned on busts.