The Toronto Maple Leafs are expecting to get back two key players from long-term injured reserve as defenseman Travis Dermott and forward Zach Hyman are both eligible to return on Saturday when Toronto faces Montreal. While that is great news for Maple Leafs fans, it might be quite a challenge as the team will have to make quite a few changes to their roster to fit those two back into their salary cap structure.
On Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported that Toronto may have to clear four players from their roster in order to get Dermott and Hyman onto their roster. He said the moves could be demotions to the Toronto Marlies, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Toronto made a trade or put a player on waivers.
Elliotte Friedman suggested in the same segment that Toronto is seeking to trade Nic Petan, who the Maple Leafs acquired at the trade deadline last season and isn’t a favorite of head coach Mike Babcock. Petan only played five games after the trade last year and has only appeared in three this year.
Dermott is coming off offseason shoulder surgery, while Hyman had surgery to repair his ACL which he tore during the playoffs last season. With the two on LTIR, the Maple Leafs, who are under the cap by just $380K, have saved $3.11MM on the cap. But when activated, the Maple Leafs will have to clear that much in order to keep both on the roster. While Petan might be an obvious choice, none of their bottom-line players (offense or defense) make much more than the minimum, which likely would force the team to make multiple moves, barring a bigger trade.
Other players who could be out could include Jason Spezza, Nick Shore, Justin Holl, Kevin Gravel and Martin Marincin.
TOR’s going to have tough roster decisions for the rest of the season, thanks (or no thanks, depending on which side of the fence you’re on) to their cap structure. And, Kyle keeps trying to get KHL’ers who hope to be “diamonds-in-the-rough.”
Well they could potentially have JT on the IR and in doing so save some cheddar
JT would need to miss a minimum of 24 days and 10 games to go on LTIR, and right now they are saying 10-14 days for him are they not? And its only been 1 game so far, so another 9 games is quite a while.
they put themselves in a terrible spot. shouldve traded someone else long ago.
Or not signed Matthews, Nylander, Marner to stupid deals.
Kyle’s cap philosophy may (or may not) prove to be a boondoggle for the Leafs. It might be 5-10 years before we can really judge the merits, or lack thereof. The fact that no other teams have adopted this idea, means nothing, as TOR has a virtual money-printing machine for those juicy signing bonuses, meaning creative contracts. Other teams have to do it the hard way. If they hoist a couple of Cups in that time, we might still say they are stupid deals, since they would be unworkable with any other team. For the time being, they look to be set up for Feast or Famine for the long haul.
They can print money, but they can’t spend it. Hard cap means all teams have a level playing field. As for bonuses, those are recaptured the next year so affect the cap as well. If each of those three players even took $1 mill less each it would’ve left us with $3mill in space right now. Worst part is two of them held out for the money even though they didn’t have a history of sustained success. I’ll be happy with one Cup in the next 5 years but I have a suspicion Matthews will either leave as a UFA or be traded in his last year as a Leaf. His contract makes him a top 3 player in the league and he isn’t that, at least not yet.
Endorsement $$$. That is off-the-cap money. Most teams can’t get many of their players local endorsement deals (of much consequence) like TOR can. Can’t listen to SN590 or TSN 1050 without hearing endorsements by various Leafs players. When listening to other markets (interweb radio), you only hear their players with brief spots reminding you of the station you are listening to. Not complaining, mind you, just observing.
It’s actually not as much as people think. I read an article – can’t remember where – about endorsement deals in Toronto vs other cities and while it was a bit more the most a player made was something like $1mill. Most endorsement deals are in the $10-$250k range. Also, taxes are heavy here vs some other cities.
That is their big advantage compared to the tax-friendly US states. When in Hockey Mecca, do what you can to compete with US markets that have advantages that you can’t overcome. Personally, I’d like to see more players doing endorsements (in all markets), but the sponsors have to be willing and I think a fair number of players might look at it like “tooting their own horns.” Most are fairly low-key guys, which is why we prefer them over other high-profilers in other sports.
Neander is the one deal they should not have made if they wanted Mathews, Marner & Tavares.
How is this difficult? Marincin, Holl, Petan & Shore are less than average players. Call Sandin back up and send down Gravel while you’re at it, you only need extra players for practice it’s not like baseball when you can put your bench players in during the game.