The Toronto Maple Leafs are coming off the heels of another relatively successful season but now with the season over there are a ton of offseason issues for the Maple Leafs and new general manager Kyle Dubas to address.
One of the big focuses for the Maple Leafs this summer will be the topic of contract extensions for players like William Nylander, Mitch Marner and of course Auston Matthews and it could not only impact those future of those three men as individuals, but the future of some of their teammates and the Maple Leafs as a whole as well. Just how much money these three men will command could very well determine which unrestricted free agents the Leafs will be able to retain following the conclusion of the 2017-2018 National Hockey League season.
The Leafs will enter the summer with six players on their roster becoming unrestricted free agents, Tomas Plekanec, Tyler Bozak, James van Riemsdyk, Dominic Moore, Roman Polak and Leo Komarov. It's expected that several of them will not be back next season with perhaps forwards James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak being the two players likely to get significant offers from rival teams that the Leafs won't be able to, or when be interested in, matching. That however does not mean that the Leafs won't be able to retain any of these players and on Monday one player's agent seemed to make a pitch for his client to remain a member of the Maple Leafs.
Perhaps in an effort to apply pressure to the Leafs through the media the agent for Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov, player agent Todd Diamond, spoke with TSN insider Darren Dreger regarding his clients future. According to Dreger Diamond is "hopeful" that he can meet with general manager Kyle Dubas in short order to have a conversation about Komarov's future within the Leafs organization. The report from Dreger comes off the heels of some rather surprising rumors involving Komarov and it seems unlikely that this is merely a coincidence.
Late last week rumors began to surface regarding a possible return to the Kontinental Hockey League from Komarov and while there were no substantial reports in that regard Russian hockey expert Aivis Kalnins has since been able to comment on those rumors. While he acknowledges that there is indeed talk in the KHL about a potential return for Komarov, he believes there is "no truth to that."
Komarov's agent may have spoken to Dreger in order to make it clear that his client's preference is to return as a member of the Maple Leafs this summer and perhaps also to put some added pressure on the Leafs new general manager. Komarov has become a fan favorite in Toronto and has earned himself the rather lovable moniker of Uncle Leo, it seems fair to say that Diamond could be relying on fan sentiment towards his client to add some additional value during negotiations on a new deal. That being said though there is no guarantee that the Leafs under Dubas will indeed extend a new contract offer to Komarov this summer. That will once again likely depend on how the negotiations with Toronto's big three restricted free agents go.