With less than four weeks remaining before training camp opens, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis said Friday his goal of re-signing restricted free agents Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson has not changed.
The Maple Leafs have a shade under $5 million remaining under the NHL salary cap, according to Capgeek.com. They can be over the cap by 10 percent until rosters have to be submitted prior to the start of the regular season.
Nonis said the intention is to have both players under contract by the time camp begins in September.
"From our standpoint, we have enough cap space in our minds to get both players signed and that's what we intend to do," Nonis told NHL.com during a phone interview. "There are definitely ways of making it work. That's our intention."
Nonis said there is nothing to update on the status of the negotiations with Kadri and Franson, but said he's not deterred by the fact it is mid-August and neither the Maple Leafs' No. 2 center nor their top offensive defenseman from last season are under contract.
Kadri, 22, had 44 points in 48 games and is coming off his entry-level contract that carried a $1.72 million salary-cap charge. Franson, 26, had 29 points in 45 games while playing on a one-year, $1.2 million contract.
"There have been quiet periods [in the negotiations], but that doesn't bother me at all," Nonis said. "That's par for the course in these types of situations. I also think it's a different year a little bit with the cap dropping [from $70.2 million to $64.3 million]. I think there is recalibration that needs to take place on both sides. You look around the League and I think that's happening. There are a lot of good UFAs [unrestricted free agents] that aren't signed because of the amount of money left in the marketplace."
Nonis also said he hasn't had any negotiations with captain Dion Phaneuf on a contract extension because "we've been focusing on other issues right now."
Phaneuf has one year remaining on a six-year contract that carries a $6.5 million salary-cap charge. If unsigned, he can become an unrestricted free agent in July 2014.
"Obviously Dion is a core part of our team," Nonis said. "He's our captain. He's fit well into Toronto and our group and there's no reason to think he won't be here for the long run."