Maple Leafs sign Morgan Rielly to 8-year, $60 million extension

Morgan Rielly contract
Kevin Sousa, Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have another key member of their core locked in place on a long-term contract.

The team announced on Friday it has signed defenseman Morgan Rielly to an eight-year, $60 million extension. That comes out to a salary cap hit of $7.5 million per season.

Rielly would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency after this season and would have certainly been one of the top players available on the market. His new deal reportedly includes a no-movement clause for the first seven years of the contract and a limited no-trade clause in the eighth year.

Rielly, 27, has been the Maple Leafs’ top all-around defenseman for several years now and a key part of their core.

It is another significant contract added to a team that already has a lot of them, but given the cost of comparable defenders over the past few months this is probably considered a team-friendly deal for Toronto. Pretty much every contract signed by a top-pairing defender over the past few months has been in the $8-$9.5 million per year range.

The Maple Leafs get Rielly for $7.5 million, a salary cap hit that places him 19th in the NHL.

Had he gone to the open market he probably could have signed for more this summer.

With Rielly now signed the Maple Leafs have five players that account for more than $6.9 million in salary cap space for the next several seasons. Rielly ($7.5 million) joins Auston Matthews ($11.6 million), John Tavares ($11 million), Mitch Marner ($10.9 million), and Willam Nylander ($6.9 million) as part of that core. They are all front-line players, but together have accounted for zero postseason series wins in five years.

While the salary cap situation looks complicated with that many big-money deals (especially in a flat cap environment for the time being) another First Round exit this season (or anything short of a deep playoff run, for that matter) will probably result in significant changes this offseason. So either the Maple Leafs finally do something come playoff time, or the salary cap situation gets fixed another way.

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