NHL Rumour Report: Marner most likely of the Core Four traded this offseason; NOTHING off the table

Another year, another playoff disappointment for the Toronto Maple Leafs. But this one feels different.

- Decision time is coming for the Maple Leafs after flaming out of the second round against the Panthers. While it's not the usual first round exit, the sting of defeat somehow feels just as severe for a group that was meant to take a big step for many years.

- Literally nothing is off the table this offseason, and we could get answers quickly. Teams don't like to sit around and wait with the NHL draft and free agency period just weeks away.

- President Brendan Shanahan, GM Kyle Dubas, Head Coach Sheldon Keefe and his coaching staff could all be on the firing line. As of this post, we wait for a decision from Dubas on an extension offer from the organization. Everything flows from there. UPDATE: Dubas has parted ways with the Leafs.

- Auston Matthews and William Nylander are eligible for extensions in July. Matthews and Mitch Marner have no trade clauses that kick in at that time. Tavares will be a year older and coming towards the end of his deal as well, but his trade protection is in place already. The Core Four could very well get dismantled in some form this offseason as the experiment of loading up on expensive high end talent up front runs its course. Obviously, the Leafs didn't anticipate the salary cap flattening out suddenly after signing those deals, but at some point you have to try to adjust on the fly.

- Early indications suggest Marner could be the primary option for a Core Four shakeup. Marner, a native of Toronto and fan of the team growing up, appeared to wilt at times on and off the ice during the Leafs playoff run. A change of scenery appears more likely than not for Marner, although everything still hangs in the balance with so much front office uncertainty.

- Nylander appears to be the secondary option for a shakeup. He has the most cap-friendly contract, but his extension demands are expected to be high. Teams such as the Avalanche are rumoured to be licking their chops at a chance to land a 40 goal scoring winger in his prime.

- A Matthews trade seems unlikely. With Matthews' camp indicating a willingness to extend, the Leafs will have to grin and bear whatever enormous cap hit their franchise centerman demands, lest they enter a retool on the fly.

- Matt Murray, who has barely managed to stay healthy for the past three seasons, is the only veteran goaltender under contract next season at a bloated $4.7 million dollars. Ridding themselves of that cap hit, either via trade or buyout, will be of paramount importance. A decision on offer sheet-eligible Ilya Samsonov will need to be made, as well as if rookie Joseph Woll is ready to be a full time NHLer. 

- A boatload of the current forward and defense group is UFA eligible this summer, so the team has more financial flexibility than it's had in years. But the pressure to make decisions on what to do with it will be a daunting task for whoever is sitting in the GM's chair this summer. Get your popcorn ready.

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