The Toronto Maple Leafs are set to pick seven times in the final six rounds of the draft, with one selection in the second round (53rd), one in the third (84th), two in the fourth (115th, 124th from STL), one in the fifth (146th), and two in the seventh round (204th from DAL and 208th).
Those picks will take a backseat to the rampant trade speculation as the Leafs look to unload cap dollars, with GM Kyle Dubas — in the words of Darren Dreger yesterday — “in on everything” as he looks to improve his team in the process.
That includes inquiring on PK Subban, a possible discussion about Blues forward Robby Fabbri (according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli), attempts to offload Patrick Marleau to a team willing to buy out the remaining year of his contract, and laying some groundwork on a possible deal with the Senators.
The Leafs are also closing in on a contract for RFA Kasperi Kapanen, while Dubas is expected to sit down with Mitch Marner’s agent Darren Ferris this weekend in attempt to move contract talks along before the FA negotiating window opens up for all teams on the 26th.
It sounds like Kasperi Kapanen and the #leafs are getting closer on an extension.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 21, 2019
After lots of talk, a quiet night for GMs at NHL Draft (TSN)
Darren Dreger, Bob McKenzie and Pierre LeBrun discussed a dead-quiet Day 1 of the draft and tee up what’s expected to be a busier Day 2 on Saturday.
McKenzie on the Leafs inquiring on PK Subban:
We saw Kyle Dubas talking to David Poile of the Nashville Predators. What could they possibly be talking about? I’d venture a guess that it is PK Subban who is potentially on the market here. I think the Leafs are amongst a number of teams that would have serious or significant interest in PK Subban.
Dreger on the irons Dubas has in the fire:
It definitely feels like Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs are in on just about everything. He was all over that draft floor. He was buzzing. He was in the stands talking to player agents. He had a lengthy discussion with Pat Brisson, who represents Patrick Marleau. The belief is they are trying to move out that money. That is not a newsflash — we’ve talked about that before — but there is a sense of desperation to move out Patrick Marleau perhaps to the Arizona Coyotes. The window for buyouts closes June 30th. There isn’t a ton of pressure to get it done immediately, but there is certainly a strong appetite.
P.K. Subban drawing trade interest from Canadian teams (Sportsnet)
The mention of up to 30% salary retention takes this from an impossibility for the Leafs to a little bit more interesting. Subban at $6 million is a much different proposition than Subban at $9 million, but what would the price be from the Leafs’ side of it to get a $6 million Subban out of Nashville? The Leafs are also in a dollar in, dollar out predicament (at best) with their cap picture at the moment unless Marleau and/or Zaitsev are moved out. Lots of moving pieces here.
Sources tell Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that the Leafs have at least investigated the possibility of whether there’s a trade to be made that would make sense for them given their cap situation.
The Ottawa Senators have talked trade with the Leafs (@TSNJR)
The Senators have a ton of draft picks and cap space at the moment and were fielding calls about pick #32 throughout the evening and into the morning. Pierre Dorion commented on trade discussions with Kyle Dubas on TSN1200 after Round 1:
We were discussing DJ’s eating habits… No, I think the Maple Leafs are trying to do things and we are trying to do things. I don’t know if we are headed for a possible trade. Sometimes you see guys talking standing up, but there are a lot of calls that are on the phone. We were just talking about something that could happen possibly in the future.
After quiet Friday, could Leafs be pursuing Preds’ Subban? (TSN)
Frank Seravalli mentions that the discussions that took place between Doug Armstrong and Kyle Dubas on the draft floor might have involved Robby Fabbri, who is a reclamation project that might be of interest to the Leafs as they look to add more depth on their left wing. Fabbri had a promising rookie campaign (18 goals / 37 points in 72 games followed 15 points in 19 playoff games) in 2015-16, as well as a good start to 2016-17, before serious injuries derailed the next two years of his career. After a tough individual year in St. Louis this past season, Fabbri is currently a restricted free agent.
Seravalli also adds that the Predators would be willing to retain up to 30% of Subban’s $9 million cap hit:
It’s believed Dubas turned up the heat on Marleau’s camp about moving his contract. Is it possible to send Marleau to Arizona, where he could be bought out, become a free agent, and sign a bargain deal with the San Jose Sharks?
Poile and the Predators are reportedly willing to retain 30 per cent of Subban’s $9 million salary cap hit. Depending on what the Maple Leafs take in return from Arizona, it doesn’t seem difficult to make the math work between moving Marleau’s $6.25 million and carrying hometown boy Subban at $6 million.