Rielly loves being a Maple Leaf, but acknowledges ‘business aspect’ going into final year – Toronto Sun

Author of the article:

Terry Koshan

Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly speaks about the upcoming season and potential new contract in Toronto on Wednesday.
Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly speaks about the upcoming season and potential new contract in Toronto on Wednesday. Photo by Jack Boland /Toronto Sun

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Morgan Rielly is on the cusp of his ninth season on the Maple Leafs blue line.

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Will the Toronto’s first-round pick in 2012 and longest-serving current Leafs player be around for a 10th season and beyond?

“I think you all know how I feel about being a Leaf,” Rielly said. “But there is a business aspect to it.

“I feel great. I’m prepared for this season. I’m really focused on having a good start. The rest will take care of itself. Being a Toronto Maple Leaf, it’s pretty special to me, and we’ll see what the future holds.”

Rielly, headed for unrestricted free agency next summer once his six-year, $30-million US contract is done, will be up for a significant raise, likely in the $8-million range.

This after the cash-strapped Leafs couldn’t re-sign Zach Hyman and the hard-working winger took his talents to Edmonton.

“Every team that’s trying to contend is going to be dealing with those situations with the flat cap, where you have players coming due and you want to see where things go throughout the year with the cap, maybe it goes up, maybe it doesn’t,” Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said.

“That’s the situation with Morgan. As we did last year with our with our players who are UFAs, will will keep (conversations) private until we have to make an announcement on one way or another.”

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