NHL Rumors: 3 Teams to Target Michael Bunting This Offseason


Heading into the 2022-23 NHL season, Toronto Maple Leafs' forward Michael Bunting was coming off his best season to date. He had built amazing chemistry with both Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. Bunting had another good season this year, tallying 23 goals and 26 assists for 49 points. Unfortunately for the Maple Leafs, Bunting is on an expiring contract, and because of his success in his two seasons with the club, his asking price has gone up drastically. Let's take a look at three teams that could target Bunting this offseason.

Toronto Maple Leafs: 

The Maple Leafs are expected to be in on re-signing Bunting this offseason. The GM is also on an expiring contract, so it appears that the team has pushed their roster decisions for next season back to the offseason. However, if you take his play on the ice out of the equation, he, Matthews and Marner are very good friends which may be seen as a plus to bringing him back. Looking back on the last few years, Matthews and Marner had close relationships with Zach Hyman, Jack Campbell, and Tyson Barrie who all signed elsewhere once July 1st rolled around. The management group may try to re-sign Bunting on a team-friendly contract similar to that of Nick Paul in Tampa Bay, to help keep the stars happy.

Edmonton Oilers: 

The Edmonton Oilers seem to be in on any former Maple Leafs' player that tests free agency. If you think back there were Hyman, Campbell, and Barrie who all were free agents and signed with the Oilers. Bunting would be a good addition to the Oilers' lineup because he can add scoring depth, something that the club has struggled with throughout the Connor McDavid era. 

Washington Capitals: 

The Washington Capitals have one of the greatest players to ever play in the NHL on their roster. They also have a lot of questions to ask themselves because they are heading in the direction of a rebuild. Now, will they actually go through a rebuild while they have Alex Ovechkin? No, they won't and as a result, they need to retool to get the Capitals and Ovechkin back into the postseason. Bunting could be a very good fit in their top six, as he is someone who can get into the corners and dig for pucks to help set up their star to riffle the pucks home. 

Photo Credits: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports