Leafs decline to tender contract to Mitchell. Will be UFA on July 1. talks will continue. Mitchell wants to return, Leafs want him back. If the Leafs had qualified Mitchell with an offer to retain his rights, Mitchell also would have qualified for arbitration. The Leafs didn’t want to take the risk Mitchell would win an arbitration case for more than $1 million. Leafs hoping to get him for significantly less.Kevin McGran clarifies the John Mitchell situation. Excellent reporting and, turns out, excellent cap management by Brian Burke. More significantly, I think that this might confirm that Nikolai Kulemin is NOT arbitration eligible.