Per a report today, the Toronto Maple Leafs are at the 50 SPC limit and cannot add any players via trade, signings or waiver claim without removing one contract first.
The Toronto Maple #Leafs & Minnesota #Wild are the only two teams that currently find themselves at the 50 contract limit.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) December 12, 2017
Meaning neither club can add or sign another contract without first unloading another contract; unless that player meets the reqs for contract exemption. pic.twitter.com/MpSiuGZVzX
Exemption from the 50 contract limit applies to players loaned to the junior leagues. So, for example, if the Leafs wanted to sign one of their draft picks in the OHL like Keaton Middleton, they can do that, because his contract will not count.
They can’t sign someone like Martins Dzierkals to an NHL deal, however. He’ll have to stay on an AHL deal for now. The same goes for the injured Mason Marchment, who looked like he might be making a case to be signed with his early season play. He’ll have to wait as well, no matter how well he does when he comes back.
This also means that there’s no point pining for waiver claims, the Leafs can’t make any.
This report comes about as Cap Friendly has changed their classification of Carl Grundström from exempt to non-exempt. He’s not loaned to a junior league team, he’s under contract and loaned to a professional men’s team in Sweden.
The Leafs have two players, Eric Fehr and Kasimir Kaskisuo, currently on NHL deals but loaned to other AHL teams. It’s obvious that the roster is still jammed up from the old days, and the deals made to sort out the bad old deals. A trade has to happen to fix this, but the opportunity to make the right deal might not come around quickly. In the meantime, the Leafs should not be looking at the waiver wire to solve their problems, anyway.