The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the most financially-powerful organizations in the league, backed by multi-billion dollar companies with one of the strongest markets in North America. They’ve used that financial might in past decades to buy up expensive, high-profile talent from around the league but have little to show for it in terms of team success. Since the salary cap was introduced they’ve tried to find creative ways to get an advantage, most notably with their use of long-term injured reserve and acquiring players like Nathan Horton and David Clarkson who were never expected to play again.
Now with Clarkson and Horton’s contracts expiring, Frank Seravalli of TSN suggests that the Maple Leafs could be on the lookout for some new dead money to give them extra cap flexibility next season. He breaks down five options the team might go after but notes that Ryan Kesler’s contract may be the most suitable. Kesler underwent major hip surgery last year and is unlikely to play again, but still has two years remaining on his contract with the Anaheim Ducks. As Seravalli reports, 80% of the salary owed to Kesler is covered by insurance but the veteran forward still carries a cap hit of $6.875MM.
- For the last several years there has been talk of Anton Burdasov considering a transition to the NHL, with the Russian forward even signing a professional tryout with the Edmonton Oilers last summer. Burdasov was apparently only interested in a one-way deal, something that he didn’t receive with the Oilers at the time. It looks like that opportunity won’t be coming anytime soon, as the 29-year old just signed a new two-year contract in the KHL.
- After a report surfaced earlier this week that Ahron Cohen had left the Arizona Coyotes, the team officially announced their “mutual” parting today. Cohen was the team’s president and CEO but was hired long before new owner Alex Meruelo took over the organization. The announcement includes that the Coyotes “will immediately begin a search to fill the role of president and CEO.”