As the final seconds ticked off the clock against the Montreal Canadiens in game seven, some bigger repercussions beyond the disappointment of the game began to swirl in the cesspool that was this season’s conclusion. The Maple Leafs have several significant decisions that are going to demand their attention over not only the short-term period of the draft and free agency but also over the next 12 months. Of course, the most important of those long-term decisions is likely going to be the contract of #1 defenceman Morgan Rielly, now just one year away from Unrestricted Free Agency after finishing his 9th year in the Maple Leafs organization.
Way back in 2016, under the leadership of Lou Lamoriello, Morgan Rielly was signed to a 6 year/30-million dollar extension with a $5m AAV. While considered somewhat risky at the time, Rielly quickly blossomed in the years to come. Not only did #44 evolve into an offensive dynamo, peaking with 20 goals and 72 points during the Maple Leafs record-breaking 2018-19 campaign, but his leadership role on the team expanded dramatically. The team would add an A to his chest in 16-17, then three seasons later in 19-20 would be hotly debated amongst fans as the 25th …
Author: Jori Negin-Shecter / The Leafs Nation