I just got a phone call from one of the most respected figures in hockey, who told me the Maple Leaf’s brass is not interested in re-signing the Canadian forward for this season.
It’s an interesting one.
The Leafs have spent $60 million this summer, and Brown is the team’s all-time leader in goals (854) and points (10,852).
He also ranks second in franchise history with 891 penalty minutes, and has been the catalyst on a team that has posted the NHL’s second-highest point total in consecutive seasons (5,722).
But the Leafs aren’t done yet.
The team’s head coach, Randy Carlyle, wants to keep Brown in Toronto this season, but the Maple Leaguers have been reluctant to give him another contract extension.
“We’ve talked about it with Connor,” the coach told reporters at a news conference Monday.
“He’s a big part of this team.
I would like to think he’ll be back.
But we’re not going to give in to the pressure, so we’ll see what happens.”
The Leafs also have another key free agent who might want to stay in the organization: left wing Jarome Iginla.
Iginlas, who signed a four-year, $25 million contract with the Washington Capitals in April, has two years left on his deal, and could decide to come back next season and earn another five-year deal.
Igera, though, is willing to explore other options.
“I’m open to everything,” Igerla said Tuesday, when asked if he would consider a return.
“At the end of the day, I’m not a superstar, so I can play for anybody.
But I’m a professional and I want to do my best.”
Igina has had an impressive season with a .925 save percentage and a 2.42 goals-against average in 12 starts, and his performance has led to interest from other teams.
The Sabres have shown interest in Iginas, too, but his agent, Jay Bouwmeester, told the Sabres.com website that he would prefer to play in Buffalo rather than return to Toronto.
The Maple Leafs are one of a handful of teams that have already offered Iginals a new contract, and he will be one of many players that have a decision to make when the new league year begins in mid-January.
I can’t wait.