Maple Leafs, Kasperi Kapanen to have preliminary talks next week

The Hockey Night in Canada panel discuss all the news and rumours around the NHL with the NHL Trade deadline only 9 days away.

With William Nylander and, most recently, Auston Matthews’ contracts taken care of, it would appear the next task on Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas’ young core to-do list is locking up Kasperi Kapanen.

Like Mitchell Marner, who has said he’d like to do business after the season’s done, Kapanen is slated to be a restricted free agent at the end of this season but it looks like the ball could start rolling on a contract extension for him as early as next week.

“This week Markus Lehto, representative for Kasperi Kapanen, will be in Toronto once the Leafs get back from this six-game road trip that they’re on and I think there will be some preliminary talks on where he stands with the Leafs,” said Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada Saturday. “It won’t be an official meeting to have a contract discussion, but I do believe the Leafs would like to get Kasperi Kapanen’s contract extension done sooner than later, if at all possible.

“So we’ll see if there’s any traction after that meeting next week.”

Though most think of the Maple Leafs’ core young forwards as Matthews, Nylander and Marner, Kapanen at only 22 years of age has 18 goals and 36 points this season for Toronto bouncing up and down lines. He, too, looks like a major piece for this Leafs team moving forward.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.