For the last two years, I have done a review of all of the Leafs’ Restricted Free Agents (RFAs) to see what the Leafs might do with them. This is a fun exercise to test just how well I understand what’s going on with the Leafs, the current environment for signing short- and long-term contracts in the NHL, and exactly what value level each of these RFAs are at. Hopefully, it’s something that all of you find interesting to look at and discuss as well.
This year’s crop is a little more intriguing than last year’s, thankfully. The big fish is obviously William Nylander, but there’s other interesting contract challenges like Calvin Pickard, Connor Carrick, and Andreas Johnsson. There’s also the question of whether Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews will sign early, which I’ll try to answer in the later posts.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to dedicate posts to each of the names on the Leafs RFA group, as can be found here at NHL numbers. Each presents a different question; a different challenge; and I’m looking forward to trying to figure out these puzzles.
Here is the order we’ll see for these posts:
- 2017 Review and Self-Grading
- William Nylander
- Martin Marincin and Justin Holl
- Andreas Johnsson
- Miro Aaltonen and Frederik Gauthier
- Connor Carrick
- Auston Matthews
- Calvin Pickard and Kasimir Kaskisuo
- Mitch Marner
I’m going to get these out as quickly as possible, and hopefully get them all done before the end of the month. Last year my plan got a bit ruined when the most interesting name, Nikita Zaitsev, had a reported deal out well before free agency started, so I didn’t have a chance to take a real guess at what he’d earn. I definitely wouldn’t have guessed he’d get 7 years.
New GM Kyle Dubas has many challenges on his hands upcoming, and this group of players is one of the bigger chunks of responsibilities for him. Who knows, maybe I can help him out by laying things out here for him. Anyway, keep your eyes out for these RFAs, the Series posts as they come, and absolutely let your own guesses and thoughts out in the comments!