Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas met with reporters today (video link) and indicated that with their limited salary cap space, he wants to wait as long as possible before trying to make a move to bolster his team before the trade deadline. Toronto, like several contenders, will probably only have enough cap room to make one addition of note and with them not being in LTIR (unlike several contenders), there’s a direct benefit to waiting until closer to deadline day on March 21st when they will have been able to bank more room and there will be less money to take on.
More from Dubas regarding the Maple Leafs:
- To help create some of that cap space, veterans Nick Ritchie and Kyle Clifford will report to AHL Toronto now with the taxi squads gone. While they can clear Clifford’s $1MM price tag entirely, they won’t be able to clear all of Ritchie’s $2.5MM AAV and will carry a pro-rated $1.375MM charge while he’s with the Marlies. It’s also likely that they’ll try to go with a minimum-sized roster or close to it when they can; both Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin can be moved back and forth without requiring waivers.
- Dubas also reiterated his desire to trade for someone signed beyond this season although fitting that player in next year may be tricky with Morgan Rielly’s extension kicking in and the Upper Limit expected to only be slightly above the $81.5MM mark that it’s currently at. Toronto has over $74MM in commitments for next season to just 14 players, per CapFriendly, with starting goalie Jack Campbell eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer.
- Dubas was non-committal about whether or not he’d convert Josh Ho-Sang to an NHL deal following the Olympics. There were reports that such a move was being considered but it was put on hold once it was clear that Ho-Sang would be suiting up for Canada in that event. Dubas referenced former NHL forwards Antti Suomela and Joseph Blandisi plus winger Curtis Douglas as others they’re monitoring to see whether or not they’re worth converting to NHL contracts.