Toronto Maple Leafs Potentially Looking To Shake Up 'Core-Four' In Blockbuster Move

Graham Montgomery
November 22, 2023  (6:43 PM)

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a unique situation with the salary cap. No other team has three players making 10 million dollars a season or more and the Leafs now appear to be poised to add a forth.

Nylander Pricing Himself Out Of Toronto?

William Nylander has taken center stage in Toronto this season as he leads the team in scoring thanks to his historic 17-game point streak to start the season. He has 27 points in total, putting himself on pace for 130 points.
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His play has certainly increased his asking price from the Leafs. Nylander is currently on an expiring deal with a cap hit of just under 7 million dollars a season. He was already due a raise before the season started, but now he's solidifying himself as another player worth an eight-digit salary.

Maple Leafs Cap situation Becoming Unsustainable

If the Leafs do re-sign Nylander as we are all expecting, it could put the team in a serious bind with the cap. The Leafs have already struggled enough to fill out the roster behind the core players but with Nylander's new deal likely coming in north of 10 million dollars a season, the team will not really have the means to address their depth problems for at least another season. As a result, something has to give. Jay Rosehill from The Leafs Nation believes Mitch Marner may be the odd man out.
"Its tough man, they've got their hands tied and if you're going to untie them you have to undo those four," Rosehill said. "You can't just free something up with no value. It has to be something with value, it has to hurt a little bit and to me Mitch Marner, with the way he plays... I think he's the odd man out."

While the cap is projected to go up by 4 million dollars this offseason, that is no guarantee. Even if that is the case, Nylander's new deal will likely eat most if not all of that extra space, leaving the team in the exact same position they are now. They can try to make some moves on the edges again like they did last offseason, but the team has not proven that they can win with those kinds of moves. The Leafs will certainly be an interesting team to watch this offseason.

As seen on Leafs could ditch surprising member of the «Core 4»
November 22   |   320 answers
Toronto Maple Leafs Potentially Looking To Shake Up 'Core-Four' In Blockbuster Move

Do you think the Leafs will ever break up the core-four?

Yes, but not anytime soon11034.4 %
Yes, within the next two years16752.2 %
Never4313.4 %
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