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Maple Leafs put off until tomorrow the decisions they could have made today

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The fight isn’t for the depth roster spots, so much as three press-box seats.

NHL: Preseason-Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres
Calle Rosen, one of four players trying to sit in three chairs.
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a lot of roster cuts today. We have the Marlies cuts and the Leafs cuts for you:

The result is a Leafs roster of 26 players (not counting Nathan Horton and Joffrey Lupul), but including Roman Polak and Timothy Liljegren. That number has to be 23 by tomorrow at 5 p.m.

Roman Polak will not be offered a contract at this time, according to reports from today’s Leafs practice.

Timothy Liljegren will either go to the AHL or the SHL.

Those two decisions leave the Leafs SPC count at 47 or 48, depending on where Liljegren goes. There is room to offer Polak a contract at some later date if he’s interested in waiting.

One player must go now, however, to make the roster not exceed 23. Lupul is currently listed as on IR, so he doesn’t count towards the 23-man limit. No one else on this team is injured, so there’s no getting around the numbers that way.

Josh Leivo has the name plate already engraved for his seat in the press box, so there are only two spots open.

Dominic Moore and Eric Fehr took turns today as the 4C in practice. Both looked good, albeit in different ways, in training camp, and there could be a case made to keep both on the roster and use them as a platoon depending on the needs of the day. That avoids exposing either player to waivers, although Fehr would likely clear due to his contract.

If the Leafs do keep both, one has to sit with Leivo, so there’s only one spot left. The Leafs have six defenders before you get to the two new contestants for a spot, and only one of that group of eight can stay.

Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman seem to be in a battle for that last spot. Neither needs waivers, either could be cut, and it doesn’t need to be permanent, since they could be swapped at any time. They are both left-shooters that can play the right side, and their cap hits are the same, so there’s no compelling reason to pick one over the other.

The obvious “asset management” route to go is to cut one of those two and call it a day.

But wait. Did he tell Mike Babcock that?

That’s not a bad idea either, to be honest, both of those players could swap in and out of the lineup and be at every Leafs practice. Buried in all of these surface decisions, is the issue of Martin Marincin and if he has a future on the Leafs, either short term or long. Maybe this problem needs to be, and should be solved with a trade.

They have also said that Liljegren will practice with the Marlies until they’ve sorted themselves out there, and that’s about it.

So what do you think? Who should be cut here?

Poll

Who should lose this game of musical chairs?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Andreas Borgman
    (215 votes)
  • 37%
    Eric Fehr
    (851 votes)
  • 16%
    Dominic Moore
    (385 votes)
  • 8%
    Calle Rosen
    (193 votes)
  • 28%
    Someone else
    (640 votes)
2284 votes total Vote Now