Welcome to NHL free agency. Doors open at 12pm ET and expect all hell to break loose at that time. The Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of holes to fill on their roster, so hopefully they’ll be busy on the first day of the new season. Please be busy, please do something.
Below, I have linked four players the Leafs are reportedly in on when it comes to UFA deals.
The Bobfather is saying the Leafs and UFA Michael Bunting have mutual interest in each other. Both have history in the Soo, and he would be a decent bet for the third line or maybe higher. Expect him to make something in the low $1 million range.
Michael Bunting — 10 G in 21 GP with ARI this season — is the rare Group VI free agent. All the logical speculation is on him being reunited with his Soo Greyhound GM (Kyle Dubas) and head coach (Sheldon Keefe) in TOR but multiple teams interested. @TSNHockey— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 27, 2021
Michael Bunting has been linked to the Leafs through logical connecting of the dots, but we can confirm the two sides have been talking and Bunting wants to be a Leaf. Interest is mutual. Unless there is an offer out there that the Leafs won’t match in FA, we expect he will be.— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) July 28, 2021
The Leafs wanted him at the Trade Deadline, now he’s a UFA and probably on the Leafs radar again to play 1LW.
One team with Mikael Granlund on its radar is the Toronto Maple Leafs. They had interest last off-season and during the season, and they're going to try again.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 28, 2021
The Coyotes have been selling hard, so there’s a chance they sell their goalie, Darcy Kuemper. Their other goalie, Antti Raanta is a UFA.
Five teams that I believe have shown varying degrees of interest in Arizona's Darcy Kuemper (one more year at $4.5M): Colorado, Philadelphia, Toronto, Carolina, Edmonton. The Avs it depends on what happens with Grubauer and Oil would need to lose Koskinen@TSNHockey @TheAthletic— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 27, 2021
LeBrun on TSN: "Both the Leafs and Hurricanes have shown trade interest in Darcy Kuemper...In the meantime Carolina is also trying to re-sign UFA goalie Jonathan Bernier, whose rights they acquired last week."— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) July 26, 2021
Listen, we haven’t seen the Leafs actually be in on Dougie Hamilton, but if they aren’t, I will be very mad. Not everyday you can live a childhood dream and sign a top RD from your hometown, Kyle.
- Gabriel Landeskog — COL (8 x $7 million) [Mile High Hockey]
- Alex Ovechkin — WSH (5 x $9.5 million) [Russian Machine Never Breaks]
- Pavel Buchnevich — STL (4 x $5.8 million) [St. Louis Game Time]
- Conor Garland — VAN (5 x $4.95 million) [Canucks Army]
- Brandon Montour — FLA (3 x $3.5 million) [Sportsnet]
- Mike Reilly — BOS (3 x $3 million) [Chowder]
- Marc-Andre Fleury for Mikael Hakkarainen [Knights on Ice]
- Tyler Johnson for Brent Seabrook [Raw Charge]
- Nate Schmidt for a third (2023) [Arctic Ice Hockey]
- Kurtis MacDermid for a fourth (2023) [Mile High Hockey]
James Neal, Martin Jones, and Braden Holtby were all bought out, as well.
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