Can & should Leafs sign Ilya Mikheyev to hometown discount?

Reports suggest Ilya Mikheyev is willing to resign in Toronto, in part due to how he's been treated as a Maple Leaf, but wants around $3.5M. Mikheyev ran hot and cold last season so should the Leafs use some valuable cap space to keep the 27-year-old in town?

Video Transcript

- I guess the first thing to talk about is Ilya Mikheyev, who is, I guess, one of the big UFAs on the team. Had a breakthrough season, over 20 goals. And now the talk is, if he's going to actually walk, or if he's going to stay. And considering a lot of vacancies around the league, it may look like he's going to leave.

And you'll-- considering the money that he may want, I don't think the Leafs will all be able to afford that. Talk is that he wants somewhere around $3.5 million. And I think, regardless of what the term is, I don't think the Leafs can swing that right now, especially when you consider that Kyle Dubas has said he actually really wants to give an opportunity for some of the [INAUDIBLE] to make the team.

Now, on the other hand, we also heard that perhaps Mikheyev might be willing to have some type of talk, have some type of negotiation, with the Leafs in a way that he can say long term, you know, considering the fact of how well he was treated in the organization.

And I think the one thing that comes to mind, definitely, was that scary injury that Mikheyev have had against New Jersey a couple seasons ago, which took away a lot of his season. But the way in which the organization cared for him, Kyle Dubas going with him to the hospital, I think those little things really stick out with players.

Another recent, recent example, Ryan Dzingel was-- was acquired in a trade with Arizona. But Kyle Dubas let him know quickly that, you know, we're actually going to waive you immediately. And he thanked him for it. I think those little mini things really make a difference. So perhaps that could be something that works, and works in the favor of Mikheyev staying. I-- I don't know. I really don't know if it's a good idea, or the best idea.

I mean, yeah, I under-- I know I watched Mikheyev turn from breakaway shorthanded can't score, to everything is going in [INAUDIBLE]. Like, we all watched it. But I don't know. I think considering the cap structure, and, again, we talked about the cap so many times. I don't know if he can actually swing that deal, especially if Mikheyev wants to take this as an opportunity for his payday to be made. I think, right now, it's more likely that Mikheyev leaves. But it'll be interesting to see what that number ends up being, or if he does end up swinging back to the Leafs out during free agency at some point.

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