That was fast. The Maple Leafs have just announced that the team has locked up two pieces of their core for the next six years. No financial details have been released, but the move answers a couple of the big questions we had for the offseason.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 13, 2016
Both pending RFAs, these deals signal a commitment that the two players are cornerstones of the rebuild. At 22-years old, Rielly is the future of the Leafs blueline and it appears as though management didn’t want to risk the Subban-like bridge deal that came back to burn the Canadiens.
While the signing of Rielly was inevitable, many speculated that Kadri might have played his last game with the Maple Leafs. This puts those rumors to an end. After having a great year that wasn’t reflected by his offensive numbers, Kadri seems to become a favourite of coach Mike Babcock.
A six-year deal buys up two of Morgan Rielly’s potential UFA years and four of Nazem Kadri’s.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 13, 2016
Despite his breakout season and the immense praise from the team’s head coach, Kadri has been a very polarizing player in this market. Many feel that he has never lived up to the potential of a 7th overall pick, but when looking beyond his scoring totals this year it is obvious that he has the ability to be an elite second line center for a very good team. With the comfort of a long-term extension and the faith of the organization behind him, Kadri now has the ability to play without the pressure of having to prove himself.
Update: We now know the financial terms of the deal and it looks like the Leafs got incredible value on the Kadri extension. Bravo Lou.
Kadri’s AAV is $4.5M and Rielly’s is $5M. Both 6 year deals.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) April 13, 2016