Connor Brown ‘confident’ contract situation with Maple Leafs will get figured out

Cam Tucker
NBC Sports

The Big Three — Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner — gained so much attention last season that a forward like Connor Brown may have been able to slip under the radar.

But after a breakout 20-goal, 36-point season, his first full campaign in the NHL, Brown is due for a raise from the $894,167 annual average value of his three-year entry-level contract.

As of Friday, he’s still a restricted free agent, the only one the Leafs still need to get under contract, with training camp about a month away.

“Obviously it’s my first time going through something like this,” Brown told TSN, per the Toronto Sun. referring to his status as a restricted free agent. “I don’t think it’s as stressful as the media would make it out to be. I’m very confident things will get sorted by season time.

“We’ll get it figured out.”

One issue is the Maple Leafs are currently in a cap crunch at this point in the summer.

From the Toronto Star last month:

The good news for the Leafs is that Brown is patient and wants to remain with the team. He is not interested in signing an offer sheet and appears ready to wait out the Leafs’ cap crunch.

The situation began when the Leafs signed Patrick Marleau to a cap hit of $6.25 million. The first casualty was prospect forward Dominic Toninato, who will become a free agent on Aug. 15. Marleau took the last available NHL contract roster spot. But it also created the summertime salary cap issue, as exposed by capfriendly.com.

In the summer, teams can exceed the cap by 10 per cent, meaning they can carry contracts worth $82.5 million.

The Maple Leafs selected Brown in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

He made his NHL debut on March 17, 2016 and then posted six points in his first seven games.

He was able to carry that over into last season, becoming one of five Toronto players to reach at least 20 goals and helping the young Maple Leafs make the playoffs.


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