ESPN Report: Maple Leafs Confirm In Talk To Swap $77 Million Man For Former MVP

Insider Predicts Maple Leafs Trade $77 Million Forward for Sidney Crosby


With the Toronto Maple Leafs entering a new era under head coach Craig Berube and the Pittsburgh Penguins nearing the end of the Sidney Crosby era, there might be a mutually beneficial opportunity for both franchises. TSN’s OverDrive host Bryan Hayes suggested on July 3 that a bold move by both teams’ front offices in the summer of 2025 could significantly impact their futures. This idea hinges on Crosby reaching free agency.

“If Crosby waits it out, plays his final year, and hits free agency next year, the Toronto Maple Leafs—it doesn’t get bigger than that in the hockey world,” Hayes said. “Maybe the greatest Canadian captain of all time, or close to it, alongside Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Mario Lemieux. One of the great winners of all time. Golden goal in 2010. Come home, come to Canada, end the Canadian Cup drought as a Maple Leaf. [John] Tavares leaves, Sid comes in. It all works out for everybody.”


Crosby is under contract with the Penguins for one more season, having signed a 12-year, $104.4 million deal in 2013 that runs through the 2024-25 season. After that, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

Tavares, the other key player in this scenario, is also entering the final season of a seven-year, $77 million contract signed in 2018 with the Maple Leafs. If both players go to market, Hayes believes a late-career partnership between the Leafs and Crosby would be ideal. Toronto could sign Crosby to fill the role Tavares would vacate after his contract expires in July 2025.

Is Sidney Crosby Leaving Pittsburgh?


As free agency approached in 2024, there were rumors about Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos possibly leaving the only franchise he had ever played for. Despite the skepticism, Stamkos eventually joined the Nashville Predators on July 1.

Could Crosby face a similar fate? Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now suggests this possibility. “There are lingering and significant questions without definitive answers. Yet the circumstantial evidence is piling up, and arrows are beginning to point to a full-scale rebuild for the Pittsburgh Penguins beginning within the next 12 months,” Kingerski wrote. “It’s July 3. Where is the new contract for Sidney Crosby? Clearly, issues are being discussed, and after two months of communication between the two sides, they are not settled.”

Crosby, speaking to media on June 29, did not reveal any progress in contract extension negotiations with the Penguins. “We’re talking,” Crosby said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

Crosby, who will be 37 during the final year of his contract with Pittsburgh, carries a cap hit of $8.7 million. He scored 94 points (42 goals, 52 assists) in the 2024 season but failed to lead the Penguins to the postseason.

Will John Tavares Lose His Captaincy?


While Mitch Marner often dominates Maple Leafs headlines, captain John Tavares has been in the spotlight recently. The Leafs signed Tavares to a substantial deal in 2018 and named him captain in October 2019.

However, NHL insider Nick Kypreos suggested on July 1 that Tavares might lose his captaincy to Auston Matthews. “From what I’m hearing, the Leafs are contemplating taking the captaincy away from him and giving it to Auston [Matthews],” Kypreos said. “They will talk about it. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but it’s real.”

Tavares scored 29 goals and 36 assists for 65 points in the 2024 season but managed only 1 goal and 1 assist in seven postseason games. The Athletic’s James Mirtle, speaking on The JD Bunkis Show on July 2, echoed similar sentiments about the potential captaincy change. “I have not heard that coming from within the organization, but at some point, they’re going to want to give it to Matthews. The question is, do they do it this fall, or wait another year until Tavares’ contract is up?”

Matthews, as the face of the franchise, is eager for the captaincy, and the team will likely make the change to secure his future with the Leafs.

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