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CANUCKSDAILY  /  NHL  /  NEWS

MAJOR | Maple Leafs' top forward on his way out of Toronto because of a disrupted relationship with the coach

Published April 21, 2023 at 8:51 PM
BY FELIP GOSSELIN

Michael Bunting clearly demonstrates that players can bloom and develop later. Originally drafted in the 4th Round of the 2014 Draft, the intense forward only became an impact player at the NHL level last year with the Leafs.

He joined the Leafs last year and collected an impressive 63 points in 79 games, which had him nominated for the best first-year player (Calder Trophy). He wasn't as productive this year but scored 20 goals in two straight seasons and managed 49 points along with 103 penalty minutes.

Bunting's contract is coming to an end and he's set to hit the market since the contract has not been going anywhere and there seems to be a big discord between Bunting and the team's head coach, Sheldon Keefe.

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Bunting needs an extension and a hefty raise at that. One that the Maple Leafs can't really afford. Especially since they have other big names whose contracts are coming to an end: Ryan O'Reilly, Alexander Kerfoot, and Ilya Samsonov, notably. Added to the fact that Auston Matthews will most likely be commanding the NHL's top contract this summer unless they choose to move on from him.

James Mirtle, a journalist covering the Leafs' day-to-day, is certain that the winger will be leaving the Leafs:

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Bunting has been Marner's and Matthews' linemate for the biggest part of his stay in Toronto, should the Leafs give it their all to keep him in town? Knowing that to sign major extensions for Auston Mattews and William Nylander as soon as the next season, should spending a big chunk of money on Bunting really be one of the team's top priority?
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April 21   |   200 answers
MAJOR | Maple Leafs' top forward on his way out of Toronto because of a disrupted relationship with the coach

Is Michael Bunting on his way out of Toronto?

YES15678 %
NO4422 %
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