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Toronto Maple Leafs Cut Roster to 26

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The Leafs take the team down close to regulation size, but not all the way.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

As per Leafs PR on Twitter, the Toronto Maple Leafs have cut their roster down to 26 players.

The final roster will have to be 23 players, and the Leafs have still yet to make the decisions everyone is waiting for on defence and at backup goalie. The only semi-surprise is at forward; Frederik Gauthier is still up as the 13th forward, giving the Leafs a backup option at 4C. William Nylander, it should be remembered, is not accounted for yet as he hasn’t signed.

On defence, Connor Carrick, Igor Ozhiganov, Justin Holl, and Martin Marincin are still all hanging around; it’s possible the Leafs will eventually carry 8D for a bit. There are rumours Carrick is being shopped for trade, but we’re not sure how much stock to put in those just yet. Ozhiganov looks like the early leader to be playing third pair on opening night.

And then there’s the backup goalie question, which today’s moves shed no light on. Veteran Curtis McElhinney, AHL wizard Garret Sparks, and compromise choice Calvin Pickard are all still here. Leafs’ GM Kyle Dubas has said he doesn’t like the idea of carrying three goalies in the season, much less four, so we’d certainly expect more action on this front soon.

It would be a real surprise for any of the players on waivers to get claimed; teams don’t usually vulture each others’ AHL veterans, and that’s mostly what that group is.

The final roster will come into focus over the next few days. For now, we’re just waiting and seeing.