Final Verdict Reached by Maple Leafs Regarding Michael Bunting

Elliot Ben Jacob
June 23, 2023  (11:04)

Toronto Maple Leafs' Plan for UFA Michael Bunting

The Toronto Maple Leafs reportedly have already made a decision about the upcoming UFA, Michael Bunting, as reported by various sources.

Resigning Bunting: A Challenging Task

TSN's Chris Johnston paints a somewhat bleak picture of Bunting's future in Toronto. The front office of the Maple Leafs considers bringing Bunting back to be a daunting task. It seems increasingly likely that Bunting may not be returning to Toronto.

The Leafs' Cap Situation and Bunting's Prospects

Already dealing with a tight cap situation, the Leafs might be unable to meet Bunting's salary demands, even if the player expresses his desire to stay, as per Johnston. He quotes:
"The Leafs have not formally closed the door on Bunting but they feel that it's going to be a busy marketplace for him and it will be hard to keep him.»

Bunting's Desire to Stay and Toronto's Negotiation Efforts

Despite being a local player with a preference for re-signing with Toronto, Bunting has yet to see any worthwhile offers that would put a deal in sight.

Bunting's Value and His Replacement for Zach Hyman

Bunting had a commendable season with Toronto, netting 23 goals and a total of 49 points. The Leafs had initially signed him for a bargain $950K as a replacement for Zach Hyman, who had to leave due to Toronto's budget constraints and subsequently joined the Edmonton Oilers.

Bunting's Future If He Does Not Re-Sign with the Leafs

Should Bunting not re-sign, he will step into the free agency as one of the premier forwards available. He will be a strong young option for teams seeking a reliable addition to bolster their offensive capabilities.

Can Toronto Afford to Bring Bunting Back?

Toronto would highly benefit having Bunting on the team, but it appears that he may be beyond what they can handle financially.