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FTB: Free agency begins, but is it already over?

No tampering at all in the NHL. Nuh-uh

Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs
Hyman & Campbell together again?
Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

It's Wednesday July 13th and the 2022 NHL Free Agency season has begun!

But it's kind of anti-climactic because the big moves have already leaked. Despite there being rules about negotiating with players under contract, it seems the players everyone is keeping an eye on have already made their deals.

Let’s take a look at former Leafs starting goalie Jack Campbell. Isn’t allowed to sign a new deal until noon today. Shouldn’t have been talking to other teams, but all we’ve been hearing is “Jack Campbell to the Oilers, $5M per year over 5 years.”

“They could sign Darcy Kuemper!” You may say. No, he’s going to Washington because all week we’ve been seeing tweets like this:

Forwards seem to have a bit more freedom of choice than goalies. Evgeni Malkin of all people was cut loose by the Pittsburgh Penguins because they thought that Rickard Rakell was a better choice?

Johnny Gaudreau has told the Calgary Flames he’s making a family decision and not a financial one with his new deal, supposedly turning down an eight year $80 million deal with the Calgary Flames.

He’s from New Jersey, grew up near the NJ/Pennsylvania border by Philadelphia. I guess the question is will he be a Devil or Flyer?

Tampering, what is it really? Just make contracts end on June 15th, and give us two solid weeks (in a normal schedule) of public negotiations before players can sign new deals. Everyone wins.

Now, there are a few names we haven’t had linked to teams, aside from speculation. Lots of talk about Nazem Kadri looking for a big deal, Claude Giroux maybe staying in Florida, maybe going home to Ottawa? John Klingberg seems to be on the move and even Patrice Bergeron is hitting the market, but I would be surprised if he left Boston.

All we know for sure is these players are way out of the Leafs price range so be on the lookout for some more bargain deals like we saw with David Kämpf, Ondřej Kaše, and Michael Bunting last year.

Just like always with the Leafs, keep those expectations low.

So, how much can the Leafs spend? Glad you asked.

Does money get you more ice time?

With free agency upon us, who’s one player you would like to see the Maple Leafs sign?

Vote in the poll, argue in the comments, see you after noon.

Poll

Who do you want the Leafs to sign?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Johnny Gaudreau
    (48 votes)
  • 11%
    Patrice Bergeron
    (80 votes)
  • 4%
    John Klingberg
    (34 votes)
  • 8%
    Jack Campbell
    (63 votes)
  • 39%
    Dylan Strome
    (286 votes)
  • 12%
    Ondrej Palat
    (86 votes)
  • 1%
    Andrew Agozzino
    (12 votes)
  • 14%
    I have someone else in mind.
    (107 votes)
716 votes total Vote Now

UPDATE: the Penguins pulled a fast one late last night. It’s 4 years at $6.1M AAV.