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REPORT: Maple Leafs in danger of losing one of their best players



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The Maple Leafs, despite being one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup next season, face losing one of their best players.


With several key players such as Alexander Kerfoot, Pierre Engvall and Justin Holl set to become UFA's (Unrestricted Free Agents) after this upcoming season, it's likely that the Leaf's will be faced with some tough decisions to make.





Michael Bunting is also set to become a UFA following this upcoming season, which might put the Leaf's in a tough spot if they plan to keep him around.



Bunting had a breakout year in 2021-22, putting up 23 goals, 63 points in 79 games. This was the first full season the 26-year-old has played in.


Bunting had more 5v5 points than Connor McDavid, with 92-percent of his points coming at even-strength. So if he had been given 1st-unit power play time, there was a possibility Bunting had reached 30 goals and 80 points.





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At an estimated $1,500,000 above the Salary Cap, the Leaf's will be needing to move some players if they plan to keep the surprisingly talented Bunting around for the long term.


Also, many other big name players will be in need of contract extensions in 2023-24, including Auston Matthews and William Nylander. This will make negotiating with Bunting extra tricky as both will be expecting pay raises.





At $950K, Bunting has one of the best value contracts in the NHL, so I’m not suggesting that he should take a league-minimum deal to stay here, but if Toronto offered him a contract worth $3.5M x 3 years, he would have to accept it.




Will the Leaf's be able to keep Bunting? Let us know down below.





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