Skip to main content
Publish date:

Maple Leafs' Morgan Rielly Could Price Himself Out of Toronto

Morgan Rielly's future with the Toronto Maple Leafs was already an off-season topic as the 27-year-old defenseman enters the final season of his contract. His contract status will continue to hover over Rielly and the club through 2021-22.
Morgan Rielly

Morgan Rielly's future with the Toronto Maple Leafs was already an off-season topic as the 27-year-old defenseman enters the final season of his contract. His contract status will continue to hover over Rielly and the club through 2021-22.

Rielly currently earns an annual average value of $5 million. The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons recently pointed out young defensemen such as Colorado's Cale Makar, Chicago's Seth Jones, Edmonton Darnell Nurse and Dallas' Miro Heiskanen inked long-term extensions worth well over $8 million annually. Earlier this week, the Toronto Star's Chris Johnston cast doubt expressing doubt on Rielly accepting less than that on his new contract.

Johnston believes it's between Rielly and Dallas' John Klingberg over which one becomes the top defenseman in next summer's unrestricted free agent market. He favorably compared the Leaf blueliner's career point-per-game production (0.53) to that of New Jersey's Dougie Hamilton and Washington's John Carlson over roughly the same period of career games.

Cap Friendly shows the Leafs with over $67.78 million tied up in 14 players for 2022-23. With next season's salary cap expected to rise by only $1 million to $82.5 million, they won't have much room to keep Rielly in the fold when they've also got Jack Campbell and Rasmus Sandin to re-sign.

Johnston speculates Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas could take several approaches. He could sign Rielly now and deal with the salary-cap headache later, he could take a wait-and-see approach to the season, or treat the big-minute blueliner as an “own rental” and let him walk next summer.

The Leafs' performance this season could also determine Rielly's fate. Another first-round playoff exit could result in big changes, including bidding farewell to their best defenseman. 

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_12937250
Play

‘Animalism’: Blackhawks Scandal Raises Culture Questions

For three weeks in 2010. That’s how long it took for the leadership of the Chicago Blackhawks to act on sexual assault allegations. Three weeks that — more than a decade later — rocked a once-proud franchise and raised more questions about the culture of sports.

NylanderWin
Play

Maple Leafs 'Wake Up' and Rally to Snap Losing Streak

Production from Mitch Marner, Solid goaltending and first intermission wake up call helped a desperate Maple Leafs gut out a much-needed two points.

Kyle Beach
Play

Kyle Beach is the Blackhawks' John Doe: What We Learned

Speaking openly to the media for the first time following his traumatic experience, Kyle Beach recounted the aftermath of his abuse, outlining an intricate cover-up by the Blackhawks organization that coincided with an attempt to paint his claims as baseless.