Maple Leafs Resign Kadri and Reilly
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the seven Canadian teams that failed to qualify for this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, but they aren’t sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. The Maple Leafs have already started planning for next season by resigning two of their best players to six-year extensions, and improving their NHL sports betting odds of making the playoffs next season.
On Wednesday, the Maple Leafs announced that they have given Morgan Reilly and Nazem Kadri six-year contract extensions, keeping them with the team until 2022. Since both players were about to become restricted free agents this summer, the Maple Leafs don’t have to worry about losing either player to another team.
Although the details of the contract extensions have not been disclosed, Kadri’s deal is supposed to come with a $4.5 million salary cap hit, while Reilly’s deal comes with a $5 million cap hit.
Reilly and Kadri have been a big part of Toronto’s rebuilding process and have been significant contributors as well. The Maple Leafs feel both players are important to the team’s success, the team believes resigning them was very important to their future success.
The Maple Leafs’ faith in their young players make a lot of sense because both players had a very productive season. Reilly is only 22 years old and is already the team’s best defenseman. The team also lost Dion Phaneuf this season, which made resigning Reilly a top priority for the team.
Reilly had 9 goals, 27 assists, and 36 points this season despite all of the team’s struggles. Experts believe that his style of play is something that will continue to grow under the leadership of coach Mike Babcock.
By agreeing to a long term extension, Reilly got close to what his current value is, and a big raise from the entry level deal he signed when he was drafted. The team also got some wiggle room in their salary cap, which can be used to sign more free agents.
Kadri’s extension is considered a more complicated situation. As a player, there is no denying the talent that Kadri has. At the same time, Kadri has been known to behave immaturely, which has a negative impact on the team.
Like any other sports league, the NHL is no different and talent always trumps other issues. In fairness to Kadri, he excelled this past season without any controversy, mostly thanks to new management and a coach that appreciates the way he plays the game.
Kadri’s extension also doesn’t significantly affect the team’s salary cap because the $4.5 million he will earn next year is only slightly higher than the $4.1 million he earned this season. The new extension also buys up some of Kadri’s unrestricted free agent years, making it a very good deal for Toronto.
One of the reasons that the Maple Leafs failed to make the playoffs this season is due to the fact that they didn’t have a lot of depth. By resigning Kadri and Reilly, the Maple Leafs will free some extra cap room and can go after some talented players that fit coach Babcock’s coaching philosophy, giving them hope for next season.