With multiple players to sign and limited cap space with which to work, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas might face some competition from other clubs looking to poach one of his young stars.
Leafs forwards Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen, and Andreas Johnsson are all set to become restricted free agents July 1. As RFAs, all three would be eligible to sign offer sheets from other clubs should they be presented with them.
Dubas is prepared for that eventuality.
"You have to be realistic. You have to look around and identify which teams have the (draft) capital, which teams have the cap space, and which teams have the combination of both," Dubas told Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com.
Any team that submits a successful offer sheet for an RFA must provide compensatory draft picks to the player's original club based on a predetermined league-wide scale, with larger salaries carrying heavier draft-pick compensation.
"We want to be prepared as much as we possibly can," said Dubas, adding that some teams are non-factors due to a lack of cap space, lack of draft picks, or both. "We don't want to leave ourselves exposed to the actions of an irrational actor in the marketplace, another team that has the ability to do something that's crazy."
The young GM hopes to prevent any such situation by signing his players in an efficient manner.
"As a management group, our focus has been on finding contract resolutions with Mitch and Johnsson and Kapanen," he said.
Marner, Kapanen, and Johnsson all had career years in 2018-19. Marner led the Leafs with 94 points, while Kapanen and Johnsson each reached the 20-goal mark.