Maybe Marc Bergevin should give Kyle Dubas a call

Published August 8, 2021 at 12:44

The Toronto Maple Leafs are slow to become the team to beat in the NHL. The Ontario team, however, has several star players such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, William Nylander and Morgan Rielly, but they are not able to move to the next level.

Remember that Matthews, Marner and Tavares alone have an impact of about $30 million on the Toronto payroll. A situation that could hurt the Maple Leafs before long.

Kyle Dubas has brought out the checkbook for his offensive players, but what about Morgan Rielly? The 27-year-old defenseman currently costs $5 million until the end of the next campaign, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent.


An outcome that the Leafs will want to avoid at all costs, considering they just lost Zach Hyman for nothing who joined the Edmonton Oilers.

At the end of this pact, it would not be surprising if Rielly commanded an increased salary, having once accepted a friendly contract. Rielly is employed as the team's number one defenseman and is clearly underpaid, considering the many responsibilities he has. However, it would be surprising if he were to offer a gift to the Maple Leafs in potential contract negotiations. Matthews, Marner and Tavares were paid full salary, so Rielly could probably afford to ask for the same.

Since the 2017-2018 season, Rielly has established himself as one of the best defensemen in the Bettman circuit offensively, hence his 186 points in 260 games. Recall that he scored 20 goals in the 2018-2019 campaign. He will inevitably want to be paid his fair value, however it might not be with the Maple Leafs, they might be tight financially.

Kyle Dubas, general manager of the Maple Leafs, will have to try to trade the Canadian back, otherwise he will inevitably lose him. That's where Marc Bergevin should come in.


The Montreal Canadiens recently learned that their captain and number one defenseman, Shea Weber, would miss the next campaign due to the numerous injuries he suffered last year. He could even see his career being compromised. Morgan Rielly would be a good fit for the Habs, but he wouldn't be free. The Leafs would ask the moon for him, which is legitimate. However, if Dubas doesn't want to lose him for nothing at the end of the next campaign, he may have to trade him before the 2022 trade deadline. The Leafs' youngsters would apparently be willing to take over Dermott, Liljegren and Sandin, along with veterans Holl, Muzzin and Brodie.

What would it cost to get Morgan Rielly? It has to be expensive! So if Marc Bergevin were to acquire his services, offering an arm, a leg and a kidney, he will have to make sure that a contract extension is on the table. Rielly can easily compare to other defensemen who signed monster contracts, namely Darnell Nurse, Zach Werenski, Seth Jones, Dougie Hamilton and Cale Makar. That's a pretty big "think about it".

However, if these conditions are met, I have no problem with Marc Bergevin giving what it takes to get Morgan Rielly here. Let's face it though, Toronto might not trade their number one defenseman to a division rival...

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