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There’s no need for the Leafs to rush into a commitment with pending UFA Joel Edmundson

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Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
9 days ago
Even though there’s said to be mutual interest in getting a contract extension done, there’s no need for the Maple Leafs to rush to a commitment with pending free agent blue liner Joel Edmundson.
In the grand scheme of things, unless the deal makes too much sense to close upon, it would be in Brad Treliving’s best interest to slow play the negotiation process.
In all due respect, there are bigger fish to fry right now. Over the course of the next few weeks, the Leafs need to figure out what they’re doing with Mitch Marner. Indisputably, that’s the most important objective —maybe of the summer. Additionally, when it comes to pending unrestricted free agents, both Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi should be prioritized over someone like Edmundson. In a perfect world, the Leafs would love to bring back both forwards, but ultimately, the math’s not in their favour —especially if the Marner camp decides that they want to stay put. Edmundson’s great but the Leafs will have options when it comes to filling that type of role. Furthermore, you don’t want to get redundant either. Simon Benoit does a lot of the same things.
In 16 total outings with Toronto, there’s no question Edmundson proved his worth. The 30-year-old’s big, nasty, and hard to play against. Most importantly, he delivered a standout performance in the Bruins series. He’s exactly the type of player that you need when the going gets tough in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Unfortunately, until the Leafs find a way to free up significant coin, the salary cap will continue to be a factor with regards to anything they look to do moving forward. That’s why it’s imperative that they brainstorm a plan as soon as possible when it comes to making a potential blockbuster trade.
For the record, bringing back Edmundson would make a lot of sense. Having said that, that’s probably a decision better suited for draft week leading up to July 1. There’s no need to rush it, or they could wind up making a big mistake.
Changes are coming on the back-end —there’s no doubt about it. For starters, Morgan Rielly, Jake McCabe, and Simon Benoit are all likely to be back. Furthermore, unless he’s flipped, Conor Timmins will likely be viewed as a bubble guy heading into next season. Also, Timothy Liljegren needs a new contract. Once again, the Leafs desperately need at least one right-handed shooting defender —if not two or three.
When it comes to the back end, all bets are off. They need to be smart with this.

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