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Report: Maple Leafs, Timothy Liljegren haven’t engaged in dialogue, could head to arbitration

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
29 days ago
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The Toronto Maple Leafs still haven’t come to an agreement on a new contract with pending RFA defenceman Timothy Liljegren, and it doesn’t sound like that’ll be changing any time soon.
According to Joshua Kloke in The Athletic, the Leafs have engaged very little in contract talks with Liljegren’s camp and the two sides could be headed down the road to arbitration.
“It sounds like there hasn’t been much dialogue between the Leafs and Liljegren’s camp over his next contract,” Kloke wrote. “The Leafs are likely waiting to see how free agency unfolds. Once they know what kind of pieces they can add, they’ll be able to decide where Liljegren fits in their lineup.”
Liljegren, 25, managed three goals and 23 points while averaging 19:39 of ice time in 55 games with the Leafs during the 2023-24 regular season. He tacked on an assist in six games during the Leafs’ loss to the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In addition to Liljegren, the Leafs have five notable defencemen heading toward unrestricted free agency this summer: Mark Giordano, Joel Edmundson, TJ Brodie, Ilya Lyubushkin, and John Klingberg.
Liljegren is one of seven Leafs RFAs eligible to file for arbitration this summer, along with Connor Dewar, Noah Gregor, Alex Steeves, Max Ellis, Max Lajoie, and Keith Petruzzelli.
“One path I’d bet the Leafs might walk down is taking Liljegren to salary arbitration,” Kloke added. “They might look at the 196 games he’s played and his 65 points during that stretch and figure they have a decent case in arbitration. A one-year deal would only punt Liljegren’s future down the road.
“The Leafs could also offer Liljegren a long-term deal if they don’t add another puck mover. That number could likely start at $3 million AAV, depending on the term. If the Leafs can buy a year or two of Liljegren’s UFA years, that’s a win for them.”
The Leafs originally selected Liljegren in the first round (No. 17 overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft. The Kristianstad, Sweden product made his NHL debut with the Leafs during the 2019-20 season.
With a record of 46-26-10 during the 2023-24 regular season, the Leafs finished third in the Atlantic Division with 102 points before falling in seven games to the Bruins in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

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