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NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders

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It’s time for another round of NHL rumours as we near the end of the regular season. We’ve got the Stanley Cup Playoffs on our brain. However, we can always think about the off-season like many executives are. Some big decisions are looming for the start of the July 1 free agency period. Heck, we’re even thinking about the 2025 off-season in some cases. Today’s NHL rumours cover the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Islanders.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Erik Duhatschek of The Athletic speculated on what the future may bring for Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares. The Mississauga, Ontario native will be in the final year of his contract after this season.

Analysis: Tavares is one of the four Maple Leafs’ forwards that makes over $10 million along with Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner. Both Matthews and Nylander are set to have big-money extensions kick in at the start of the 2024-25 season. Marner and Tavares are both set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of next season.

However, both can sign contract extensions on July 1. Tavares is 33 years old and likely heading into the later stages of his career. Marner is just about ready to hit his prime and likely wants a deal close to what Matthews and Nylander are getting. However, there is only so much money that Toronto general manager Brad Treliving has at his disposal.

This could prove to be a tough situation for Tavares, but Duhatschek lays out some options for the lifelong Leafs fan. Tavares could take a more team-friendly deal and allow the team the ability to sign more players. Toronto could also let Tavares walk and find a new team. Duhatschek pointed out that money may not be a factor on the next deal because Tavares has made $121 million in his career.

Treliving and the Leafs do have some decisions to make in the coming months. However, the Toronto captain could do his boyhood team a massive favour if he wants to.

New York Islanders

Rumour: Ethan Sears of the New York Post said that veteran forward Cal Clutterbuck has yet to decide if he’ll retire.

Analysis: Clutterbuck said he hasn’t really thought about hanging up the skates just yet. The Welland, Ontario native thinks he’s still capable of being an important piece for an NHL team. Clutterbuck has seven goals and 12 assists in 78 games this season.

The veteran forward said that things may be different had he been injured, then he would have something to think about. However, the 36 year old is on track to play all 82 games this season. He’s been a steady part at the bottom of an Islanders lineup that’s made a huge push to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Clutterbuck is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. He currently makes $1.75 million and could be a good low-cost option for a team. He’s also a very physical player that can throw his body around. The NHL started keeping track of hits back in 2005-06 and Clutterbuck is the league leader with over 4,000 since that statistic was being tracked.

Clutterbuck understands that it’s not really in his control if general manager Lou Lamoriello wants to bring him back for next season and/or beyond. However, Clutterbuck feels like he has something to give a team. He could be a boon to a bottom six group of forwards. The veteran won’t put in a lot of goals, but he’s a solid veteran and role player that a team may need.

Main photo by: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports


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