I spoke to James Mirtle today, we talked about the Leafs and the decisions they have to make this summer. James feels the Leafs can return the roster intact if they choose, but that’s about it–there isn’t a mile of money to add help, so they’ll need to shuffle someone out of the deck to improve. Could be Grabovski leaving, but beyond MacArthur and (buyout) Komisarek they can return intact.
The cap difficulties come from RFA’s Tyler Bozak ($1.5M and expecting a raise), Nazem Kadri ($1.72M with bonuses and expecting a raise), Cody Franson ($1.2M and expecting a raise) and Carl Gunnarsson ($1.325M and expecting a raise).
The Oilers have RFA’s Sam Gagner ($3.2M and expecting a raise) and Magnus Paajarvi ($1.5M and expecting a raise).
When we’re putting together roster and lineup ideas, we as a group slot Gagner in at around $4.5M and give him three years. That seems right to us, but what if Sam Gagner and his agent are asking for well north of $5M? Gagner finished with 38 points, that was 37th among forwards this season. Among the players in that range were Jordan Eberle ($6M next season), Brad Marchand ($4.5M) and Teddy Purcell ($4.5M).
The Oilers are going to be buying free agent seasons, two or more one would guess. Is $5M more realistic?
- MacT: “Sam had an unbelievable year (38 points in 48 games) and has developed into a leader here by all regards. In the limited discussions with the group (of players) in there, he’s got the type of character we want. We’ve had a few years of it being too much of a circus in there and that has to change.”
I think MacT will get Gagner signed, whether it’s the $4.5M times three deal or something a little north of it.
One way the new GM could get Gagner under the cap? Buying out the captain.