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FTB: Toronto Maple Leafs still have more off-season work to do and more NHL and hockey news and links

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Everyone is talking about the Maple Leafs’ Connor Brown problem.

NHL: New Jersey Devils at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the off-season. Most teams have now at least started, if not already finished, their Development Camp. The media personalities covering the Toronto Maple Leafs will now be off to their cottages way up north of Bloor Street somewhere.

There’s not much left to happen. Or is there?

Connor Brown has not yet signed a contract, and the Leafs are in a bit of a cap space bind. Everyone is talking about it right now, but Katya has the best summary of the situation, and how the cap works in the off-season. If you haven’t read it yet, now is a good time to check it out.

Brown isn’t going to accept the paltry $715,000 Qualifying Offer -- which was simply the amount the Leafs were obligated by the CBA to offer and retain his rights while they negotiate further — so there has to be a trade or, well, something to free cap space for Brown.

It could be this week, but, as Mike Augello notes, player movement across the whole NHL is paralyzed, waiting for Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic to do something about poor Matt Duchene, who doesn’t want to be there anymore. Augello suggests the Leafs want to move players, but can’t because the League is paralyzed waiting to first see where Duchene ends up.

To summarize: Lou Lamoriello needs to sign Connor Brown, but first he probably has to trade a player (not named James van Riemsdyk!), but, he might not be able to do that until Sakic trades Duchene.

It’s complicated, but, at some point in the near future, the Leafs will likely have big things happening.

This could be remembered as the not-off-season.

Oh, speaking of big things happening this summer, we have an announcement later this morning about your favourite off-season hockey topic, but maybe the AHL intends to steal our thunder?

The AHL has been an experimentation ground for the NHL in the past, so there could be some test changes for rules. It could also perhaps be about affiliation swaps. Apparently we will find out later today.

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