Toronto Maple Leafs Rumors: The Surprising Promise Shanahan Gave The 'Core 4'

All that talk around Toronto in the turmoil of another playoff flop is that at least ONE of the 'Core Four' just has to go. Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander. The four of them take up about $40M per year in cap space, and critics say the results just haven't been there to justify it, and it's time to break them up.  

But according to a report today from NHL Insider Chris Johnston, those four themselves were told by Leafs' brass after their playoff ouster that they would all be back again next season for another crack at it. 

According to Johnson:

Brendan Shanahan phoned each of the Leafs top players last week to share the news about Kyle Dubas. And all of those players came away from those conversations believing that Shanahan's intention is to bring the entire Core Four back... 

I was a little surprised by that.... (but) Brendan Shanahan is the top voice in the hockey department, and, I don't know if he gave assurances or promises, we might get into semantics here, but certainly those players, I don't think, are bracing to get traded now... It seems the organization wants to move forward with them as a Core Four. 

As Johnson notes however, there will be a new GM coming in soon, and he may have completely different thoughts on things once he surveys the situation more closely.

Both Matthews and Marner have full no-movement clauses kicking in on July 1st, while Nylander gets a 10-team no-trade clause at that point. The captain, Tavares, already has a full no-movement clause, and he's already indicated that he doesn't want to go anywhere. 

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