Maple Leafs Could Take a Run at Landing Hurricanes Pending Free Agent Jake Guentzel

Report: Maple Leafs One of Several Teams That Could Take a Run at Landing Hurricanes’ Pending Free Agent Jake Guentzel

Could the Toronto Maple Leafs land Jake Guentzel in free agency?

According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Leafs are one of several teams who could take a run at landing the two-way forward.

“There are more than a handful of teams expected to be in the mix for the Stanley Cup-winning winger,” Seravalli wrote on Tuesday. “If the Toronto Maple Leafs trade Mitch Marner, they could be players.”

Why might the Maple Leafs be interested in Guentzel?

The left winger is a proven commodity who plays well in the playoffs. With 30 goals last season split between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes, the forward can play anywhere in the lineup and deliver. He has 67 points in 69 career playoff games.

If the Leafs were finally searching for a dependable winger on the left side for someone like Auston Matthews, it would be hard to argue against the 30-year-old Guentzel.

Why would a Marner trade be needed for any deal for Guentzel?

According to AFP research, a player like Guentzel is anticipated to get a seven-year deal with around $9.7 million on an average annual value. The Leafs have just under $20 million under the salary ceiling and it’s evident that a pair of established defenseman and another goaltender are a higher priority for Toronto right now.

Could they squeeze Guentzel in without a contract for Marner, who has a $10.9 million cap this season? Likely not. It’s also unclear if Marner would move his entire no-move before free agency opens on July 1 leaving the pursuit pointless. The Leafs can be 10 percent over the $88 million salary cap over the offseason. So there is that.

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