No playoffs and potential flattening of the salary cap won’t help free agents
Luke Fox of Sportsnet: Pending free agents may not get the stretch run and playoffs to help boost their stock. The potential flattening of the salary cap won’t help their situation either.
This will have an impact on the top pending UFAs like Taylor Hall, Braden Holtby, Jacob Markstrom, Tyson Barrie, Alex Pietrangelo and Torey Krug, and pending RFAs like Max Domi, Anthony DeAngelo, Sam Reinhart and Tyler Bertuzzi.
Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning on Sportsnet 650 radio again that he intends to try and sign goaltender Jacob Markstrom to a contract extension. Benning added that Markstrom has recovered from his knee injury and is ready to play if the season resumes.
Areas the Toronto Maple Leafs need to find a way to improve on, and pending Leafs free agents
Luke Fox of Sportsnet: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas takes the responsibility for his team. If they don’t reach their potential, he says it’s on him.
“Whatever the economic landscape is, we will have to adapt and find a way to put the best team possible on the ice as we continue to grow toward our goal of being a perennial contender for the Stanley Cup,” he continued.
“We have a long ways to go, but how we overcome the obstacles along the way will likely be the biggest determinant of whether we get there.”
The Maple Leafs will need to improve on the blue line. Being able to sign a right-handed free agent defenseman like Alex Pietrangelo, Chris Tanev, Travis Hamonic, Justin Schultz, or Radko Gudas won’t be easy, so they may have to look at the trade market.
The Maple Leafs will also need to improve on the penalty kill. They could use an experienced, reliable defensive defenseman and a reliable face-off man.
Dubas traded the Maple Leafs 2020 first- and third-round picks so they’ll hope to be able to hit a home run with their second-round pick, or find a way to trade back into the first round.