As per Ken Beckett, the Toronto Maple Leafs have offered qualifying offers to the following restricted free agents: Tyler Bozak, Luca Caputi, Matt Lashoff, Clarke MacArthur, Luke Schenn, Greg Scott, and Ben Scrivens. While some may not sign, this was a paperwork move in order to ensure that the players do not become unrestricted free agents. The Leafs also declined to offer qualifying offers to Frabian Brunnstrom, Brayden Irwin, and Christian Hanson. This means that they will become unrestricted free agents but they are not barred from re-signing with the Leafs much like John Mitchell did last summer.
How much do the players stand to earn if they sign their qualifying offer?
How will qualifying offers work?
Players earning $660,000 or less will be entitled to qualifying offers (QO) at 110% of their prior year's salary; players earning more than $660,000 and up to $1 million will be entitled to QOs at 105% of prior year's salary; players earning more than $1 million will be entitled to QO at 100% of their prior year's salary.
Received Qualifying Offers
Of the players that were qualified, Luke Schenn and Clarke MacArthur are the only two that will likely be looking at significant pay raises. Schenn came in last year at a $2.975M cap hit although he didn't hit all of the available bonuses. His next contract will probably come in around at least that same figure. MacArthur signed a one-year $1.1M deal last year long after most players were signed and it paid off for both sides. He will obviously be due a pay raise although what form that will take is still up in the air as Burke goes into hard-nosed RFA negotiating mode. He's already made noises that he would be willing to let MacArthur go to arbitration if he feels it's necessary.
Matt Lashoff is coming off of a deal that was paying him $575K in the show or in the AHL. He had 7-21-28 in 69 games with the Marlies. Lashoff had a cup of coffee with the Leafs at the end of last year and I'd imagine that he'll be given a chance to win a spot with the big club as a bottom-pairing defenceman or the 7th defenceman.
Ben Scrivens was on a two-way contract that paid him $67,500 in the AHL and $690K in the NHL. He started the year in the ECHL with Reading before moving up to the AHL. Scrivens accepted the 5th spot in the Leafs' depth chart because he would have the opportunity to work with Francois Allaire. Burke has said that he is not going to be bringing in a veteran goalie (yet) to challenge James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson at the top level so odds are that he'll be fighting with Jussi Rynnas for minutes on the Marlies.
Luca Caputi turned some heads during the pre-season last year before being sent to the Marlies after an ineffective start to the season. He then spent the entire season out injured. He'll be likely looking to get a better deal than the one that saw him make only $55K in the minors last year.
Greg Scott's had two decent years on the Marlies for an AHL depth player. His deal last year only paid him $65K.
Tyler Bozak's struggles after being thrust into the role of number one centre have been well documented. The reaction to his problems was no doubt worsened by the common misconception that he was being paid $3.725M. The reality is he likely only made just over a third of that and as a third line centre with more defensive responsibilities that is probably around the price tag that he'll command.
Did Not Receive A Qualifying Offer
Brayden Irwin was on a two-way deal making $67,500 in the AHL and $900K in the NHL. He posted 7-8-15 in 45 games played. The Leafs have repeatedly discussed the emphasis that they put on skating and Irwin certainly looks to still come up short by that standard.
Christian Hanson signed a $650K NHL/$105K AHL deal last summer which was down from the over $900K he earned over his first deal. He spent almost the entire season as a Marlie with only a brief apperance with the big club.
Fabian Brunnstrom joined the Leafs last year in one of those "who cares?" trades in order to provide the Marlies with some offence when they were decimated by injuries. He finished a one-year $675K deal and I wouldn't be surprised if he heads back to Sweden.
Of the last three who were not qualified, I think Hanson might be brought back to provide depth on the Marlies and a guy that can do spot duty in the NHL. Brunnstrom could possibly serve to strengthen the Marlies if he wants to stick around North America but that's a pretty hefty price tag for minor league offence.