A brand new women’s hockey league is set to finally unite the PWHPA and PHF, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reports. NASHVILLE – Nary a peep. Brad Treliving’s first draft as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs came and went like an unfulfilled rumour. No trades. Two depth re-signings. And a confirmation that he’s running back the head coach. The only major off-season change to a Maple Leafs group that has one playoff series victory over its core’s seven seasons is Treliving himself. To be fair, Treliving is certainly not alone when it comes to a lack of activity. For the first time since 2007, no trades were completed during the opening round of the draft. Anticipation surrounds Calgary and Winnipeg, Boston and Ottawa, San Jose and St. Louis. Yet, outside of some pure salary-dump deals, fans are stuck waiting for some big dominoes to fall. “Let’s just call it what it is. There’s been no cap growth, and salaries continue to rise,” Treliving said Thursday, before flying back to Toronto to prep for free agency. “Something’s got to give. And that’s just the reality of it.” While Treliving was able to finalize modest extensions with David Kämpf and Pontus Holmberg, the lack of clarity on the William Nylander file, in particular, appears to be holding up other business. He’s been in touch with his impending free agents, trying to re-sign the likes of Ryan O’Reilly, Luke Schenn and Ilya Samsonov. But there are gaps in money and term to close. Yes, Toronto has roughly $11.6 million in cap space (with Jake Muzzin on LTIR), but the club only has 17 roster players under contract.  “I knew what the situation was coming in,” Treliving said. “The difficulty right now, and I think you see at leaguewide – look at the [low] number of signings. We like our players. Prices are high right now, and it’s got to fit. “We’ve got some guys higher up the food chain that require contracts. So, we’ve got to be smart in how we look at things. But that’s leaguewide right now. You’re not seeing a lot of signings.” Or trades, for that matter. “We’ll see what happens over the next 48 hours,” Treliving said. Maple Leafs tried to trade down for volume Toronto arrived in Nashville with three draft picks and used them all.  That was not the plan. “We spent a lot of time looking at trying to acquire more picks. Coming in, that was probably our No. 1 priority, to see if we could manufacture some more picks. But it was difficult, and ultimately nothing happened,” Treliving said. “People have talked for a while about the depth of this draft and the strength of this draft. It was hard to pry anybody away [from their list].” Because Central Scouting and other prospects lists had the Maple Leafs’ first-round pick, Easton “They Call Me Cowboy” Cowan, slotted as a late second-rounder or early third-rounder, chief amateur scout Wes Clark caught some criticism for taking Cowan early. “He was in the area we wanted him. Some people may think we may have reached, but part of the job, too, is collecting intel. We knew a number of teams behind us had him high on their board. He was our guy, and we took him,” Clark said. “We targeted him. Happy to come away with him.” Clark is satisfied with the three players he did land, which include fifth-round forward Hudson Malinoski and sixth-round defenceman Noah Chadwick. All three need plenty of runway to develop, and Clark was enticed by how their play accelerated come playoff time. He’s high on Cowan. “Big engine. Big motor. Relentless. Really strong intelligence on and off the puck. Early in his development curve. I think he’s got a really long way to go,” Clark said. “I think we got a good one.” No buyout coming for Matt Murray… yet The NHL’s first buyout window closes Friday, and Treliving said the Leafs won’t be taking advantage of it. That said, Treliving reminded that a second buyout window opens midsummer for all teams that have at least one arbitration case. Provided they are qualified, Toronto has three restricted free agents eligible to file for salary arbitration: Ilya Samsonov, Victor Mete and Mac Hollowell. Qualifying offers are due Friday. Depth players Nick Abruzzese (QO of $803,250), Semyon Der-Arguchintsev ($787,500) and Filip Kral ($787,500) don’t have arbitration rights but need an offer to avoid becoming unrestricted free agents. Four more years of Kämpf Treliving explains Wednesday’s re-signing of Kämpf as twofold.  First, the staff likes the player. “He’s shown he can take on big minutes and play against anybody,” said coach Sheldon Keefe, who is comfortable using Kämpf as a third-line centre until more depth is signed. Second, Kämpf plays a premier position. Consider the short list of fellow pending UFA centremen who averaged 15 minutes a night: J.T. Compher and O’Reilly may cost double Kämpf’s rate or more. Max Domi and Evan Rodrigues are gunning for raises and are often better suited to the wing. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are staring at the Bruins or retirement. Jonathan Toews’ health is in question. Nick Bjugstad may re-sign in Edmonton. And Nick Bonino is 35.  That’s the whole list. “You look right now at the market. To try to find centres is difficult,” Treliving said. “We felt it’s a manageable number. His age [28], where he can play in the lineup. Over the course of the last two years, he’s played a lot of a lot of time in that 3C spot. I think there’s some versatility to him.  “We found a deal that was able to work, and we did the deal.” Kämpf’s deal also includes an eyebrow-raising 10-team no-trade list. More from Sportsnet Every Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick from 2023 NHL Draft Maple Leafs’ Keefe explains ‘uncomfortable’ process with his job on the line

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