You won’t be getting an apology from Kyle Dubas.
To any of the cash flow-challenged, smaller-market teams who don’t like the way the Toronto Maple Leafs flex their financial muscle come contract time, the general manager says this: Deal with it.
Toronto’s unrivalled ability to front-load contracts with hefty signing bonuses helped secure new deals for Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson on Friday. Those were signed before either player could test the waters for an offer sheet and came in at a reasonable $6.6-million in total — tremendous value when you consider that it’s only a hair more than the since-departed Patrick Marleau would have cost them next season.
Had the Leafs not been comfortable forking over exactly 65 per cent of both deals in July 1 bonus payments, they likely would have had more difficulty getting them done so quickly and at such competitive annual values.
Rivals will look on with envy … or something worse.