The wait is over.
And maybe now the dam will break on the RFA market.
On Friday evening, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Mitch Marner put pen to paper on a new six-year, $65.358 million deal. For those counting (and I know you all are), that’s a $10.893 million cap hit.
Between Auston Matthews ($11.634 million), John Tavares ($11 million) and now Marner, the Maple Leafs hold three of the four most expensive cap hits in the NHL. Add in William Nylander’s $6.962 million from his prolonged negotiation that came right down to the Dec. 1 deadline last season and those four players will now account for a combined $40.489 million against an $81.5 million cap.
I’m exactly where I want to be, in front of the greatest hockey fans in the world, proudly continuing the tradition with the @MapleLeafs. See you soon.
— Mitchell Marner (@Marner93) September 14, 2019
It’s worth noting that with a new U.S. TV deal on the horizon in two years and revenues on the way from a 32nd franchise that will land in Seattle for the 2021-22 season, it can reasonably be expected the cap will increase before long. But for now, the Leafs will have to walk a tight rope because Marner’s contract sets a new precedent for RFAs — especially those coming off an entry-level contract.
Marner instantly becomes the second-highest paid winger in the NHL, behind only Artemi Panarin who counts for $11.643 million against the New York Rangers’ cap from a deal he signed this summer as the most sought-after UFA on the market. But as we know, with a cap that has risen many times over the years, the percentage of an AAV at the time of signing is the best way …read more