Jake Muzzin of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Photo: Canadian Press

In Friday’s Leafs Links, Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston have the latest on the Matt Dumba trade rumours, while Darren Dreger provides an update on the Jake Muzzin contract negotiations.

Leafs Links

31 Thoughts Podcast: Leafs interested in Dumba (Sportsnet)
Elliotte Friedman briefly touched on the Leafs‘ interest in Matt Dumba in the latest 31 Thoughts podcast.

I do think Toronto is interested in Matt Dumba. I am pretty sure I know Toronto is interested.

[There] is a lot of interest in Brodin. He is one of those guys who doesn’t say a lot and he can play for 15 years because he’s in such good shape and he’s a really good player.

Insider Trading: Leafs, Muzzin getting close to extension (TSN)
In Thursday night’s Insider Trading, Darren Dreger provided the latest on the Jake Muzzin contract negotiations.

It is getting closer. It is not done yet. The expectation is, if all things continue to progress in the fashion that they are, they should have a contract extension in place for Jake Muzzin as early or before the trade deadline. Understandably, because the Maple Leafs are a cap-strapped team, there are some cap gymnastics at play here. There is some tagging room concerns. They are working on some different scenarios, I would say. The expectation is that Jake Muzzin will be extended by the deadline.

Dreger on Blake Coleman’s availability:

When you look at the numbers for Blake Coleman this year, we can all appreciate why there is interest in him. He could certainly fit on all team’s top nines and many contending team’s top sixes. Most importantly, he has one year remaining at $1.8 million. That is an attractive number.

McKenzie on the Alec Martinez sweepstakes and the price tag:

Interest continues to heat up on Alec Martinez. Left shot guy, not a rental — he’s got a year left on his contract. The going price seems to be a second-round pick to the LA Kings plus a prospect of some type. Among the many teams interested: Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes all to varying degrees depending on the day you ask.

Refresher on Tagging Room: NHL CBA, Article 50.5 (Hat Trick Herald)
Essentially, a team cannot exceed the cap ceiling in its amount of AAV commitments on its one-way deals when handing out a contract extension past Dec. 1 unless there is enough money coming off of the books to accommodate it. Teams gain an extra 10% tagging room on March 1.

In order to sign a player to an extension, the team needs enough of that difference to be able to afford his AAV this season. However, if the team does not have enough cap space from this difference, then the team may pull from any available cap space received from the expiration of the AAVs of its other players’ contracts at the end of the season so long as the cap space received would accommodate the player’s AAV after re-signing after the space is added to the existing difference in cap space.

Johnston: Wild willing to move Dumba for a “big price” (Sportsnet 960)
Chris Johnston discussed Bill Guerin’s asking price for Matt Dumba on Pinder & Steinberg.

They are willing to do it for a big price. Let’s face it: Pittsburgh paid a pretty big price to get Zucker. I think that deal makes sense from Minnesota’s standpoint even if they are in the playoff race right now just because they’ve got the Russian Kirill Kaprizov coming over from the KHL next year, they needed room in their top-six, and it was the one contract that they could move pretty easily among their established forwards and still get good value back. That was a deal not made just because of the deadline; it made sense for them in a bigger scope.

I don’t get the feeling they’ve come into this deadline feeling they have to move Dumba, but he is a pretty attractive player and he might get them a pretty substantial haul. I think that is why they are making some calls on him and explored the market. If I am putting a percentage on it, it is more likely than not he remains in Minnesota beyond the deadline. I don’t know if he is something we are going to necessarily see moved, but Bill Guerin — being new in the job — is maybe a little more open and less married to some of the core players on the team than you might typically see for someone in this position.

Johnston on the level of buzz in the trade market less than two weeks out from the deadline:

I don’t think it’s quiet in terms of the number of calls being made, but it doesn’t feel like there are a lot of bidding wars… It is not nearly as cooking as normal. Maybe we do have some surprises in store for us and an hour after this call I’ll regret saying that, but in asking around, everyone is giving sort of the same answer: The names are the names. The guys we are talking about are the ones that are out there and are going to move. I think a lot of it is back to the original point — there is not the separation between the teams. Obviously, there are a few teams at the bottom that are trying to sell and a few teams at the top that are pretty comfortable in the buyer’s spot, but the mushy middle is complicating things.

Andreas Johnsson leaves game versus Dallas (MLHS)
Johnsson was seen hobbling away from the bench after a collision with Kasperi Kapanen in Thursday night’s game against the Dallas Stars.