Elliotte Friedman jumped on Sportsnet 590 radio this morning, and had some interesting tidbits on the current contract situations involving the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He spoke about the impending contract extensions for William Nylander and eventually Mitch Marner. Auston Matthews also has a contract extension coming up in a year - which will likely be dealt with this summer - but there's a lot more certainty around what he will get. Think Jack Eichel/Connor McDavid ballpark.
But Marner and Nylander are different. While both are primed to have decent seasons, neither is living up to expectations this season after fantastic years in 2016-17.
Marner is heating up, but according to Friedman, they could both be very well headed towards bridge deals. That means they will likely get 2 or 3 years with a lower salary than expected, but assuming they perform well during that contract, they will be set for massive raises on long terms. The bridge deals would keep them within their restricted free agency status following the conclusion of their contract.
What this does is free up money over the next few years for the likes of Tyler Bozak, James van Riemsdyk and Leo Komarov. Should these guys sign cheaper deals for two or three years, there may be room for these guys on shorter term deals as well. The exception is likely JvR, as he is seeking a longer term deal. Still - there's hope that regardless of how Marner's and Nylander's contract situations play out, that he signs a relatively team-friendly deal to stay here in the long run.