Joined: Jul 2018
This was a close deal for me to say whether or not I liked the value of, but the pro's far outweigh the cons.
The downside, the deal itself is expensive, and is high compared to the previous market for 2nd contracts on RFA wingers, and likely going to look a little high even after his peers this year sign. For those reasons. It's hard to say how high compared to those other deals, but I have a feeling this will be the biggest AAV of any of the 2nd contracts.
The upside is that Dubas was given what most called an impossible task. There were hockey analysts that Guaranteed that Nylander would be traded because there was no way to sign all of the big 3 after the Tavares contract. Then it was assumed that young wingers like Kapanen and Johnsson would likely be sacrificed, but instead they were signed to solid deals. Most thought Toronto wouldn't be able to address their blueline or take on additional cap hit until the Marner scenario was taken care of, but instead they make a trade where they get a reasonable 3rd line center and their coveted RHD as well as move out the Marleau and Zaitsev contracts. Then it was assumed that Marner would be sitting to start the year, and that the only solution was a bridge deal, but instead Marner is signed for a term that isn't 5 years.
The reality is the Leafs are likely going into the season as a top 5-6 team in the NHL, they are at the cap but their core is locked up to considerable term, their team is young and their window should be several years, and their cap situation actually starts ease up when they are no longer riding the constant LTIR carousel and Ceci's deal comes off the books. Considering how impossible the to do list seemed, and the most people would have assumed the Leafs current depth chart wouldn't be cap compliant if it had been handed to you without salaries next to the names back when they announced the $81.5M cap, it's hard to say it's a bad deal. It's certainly not a steal, but to call it bad seems just factually incorrect considering the undertaking, and I think having it done with no missed games just puts it over the line to being positive.