If you were worried there wouldn’t be any more minor Leafs news trickling in this week, you can rest easy. We’ve got an Andreas Johnsson contract to talk about.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) July 13, 2018
So there’s some interesting pieces to this and we’ll take the Captain Obvious approach:
- That’s not a lot of money (relatively. I personally would like to make that in a year)
- That’s only one year!
The first one is nice little story. This is going to give the Leafs a bit more flexibility to add deadline rentals, make trades without stressing over money coming and going in the deal, and just generally have a bit more flexibility than most people were counting on in 2018-19.
The second one is scary and it’s because Andreas Johnsson is betting on himself (and/or betting on playing with Matthews, Tavares, or Kadri) and thinks he’s going to light it up in the NHL (which is anything but a bad thing), but let’s say things go very well for him this year and now you will be dealing with significant contracts for Matthews, Marner, Gardiner (maybe), Kapanen, and Johnsson next year. It seems pretty likely that Kapanen is going to take the wait and see approach as well, and frankly why wouldn’t Matthews and Marner do the same?
Most of these players are going to be back given the amount of cap space, but it’s probably pointing to the Leafs being in limbo for the next 12 months on what the cap situation is really going to be. It’s also 12 months to find a new home for Nikita Zaitsev or to talk up the Arizona lifestyle to Patrick Marleau.
I’ll cool it with the “sky is falling” nonsense when we should be focusing on one very important thing, and that is that Andreas Johnsson is signed and ready to go for next year and he’s very good. That also means that William Nylander is the last contract the Leafs have to deal with and we can focus our sense of panic there.
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