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Photo Credit: © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Ilya Mikheyev will hit the free agent market

The Soup era in Toronto has come to a swift end as the other player with the namesake will become a UFA.

It’s not all that surprising that Ilya Mikheyev did not get an extension with the Leafs as he priced himself out of Toronto. At the same time, it will be sad to see him go as he became a fan favourite and provided a ton of value in the middle-six.

This past season saw him rebound to his rookie season form as upon his return to the lineup in December, he registered 21 goals, 11 assists, and 32 goals in 53 games played. Mikheyev also registered his first playoff points during the Leafs’ matchup against the Lightning where he recorded four points.

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His versatility and solid play at both ends of the ice made him one of the Leafs’ more reliable options in the forward unit, especially his play on the penalty kill. While his impending departure will no doubt sting, it is far from impossible to replace his services, especially in the wake of the non-tendered free agent list being revealed on Monday.

Related: 

Value to be found in non-tendered free agents once again for Maple Leafs

Recent reports suggest Mikheyev may net himself a multi-year contract with an AAV of as high as $5.5 million, which is too much for the Leafs to comfortably manage so it’s no wonder they have decided to let him walk. The reason why he has been put in this position was because of Kyle Dubas’ strong ability to unearth talent at an affordable price. Whether his successor is found on the open market or within the organization, replacing Mikheyev will not be a difficult task to pull off.

Best of luck to Mikheyev wherever he goes next!

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