With the acquisition of Jake Muzzin by the Leafs today, their salary cap picture for this season has changed.
Muzzin’s cap hit is $4 million this season and next, and without removing a player from the roster — the Leafs were rolling along with no extra forward, so Muzzin brings their roster to 23 right now — the total cap space right now is $10,914,493 per Cap Friendly.
With the addition of Jake Muzzin, the #Leafs now have $23,813,333, or 30.0% of the cap, allocated on defense.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) January 29, 2019
That puts the club at 6th overall in the league with regards to the total cap hits spent on defensemen.https://t.co/BPt2vFET34 pic.twitter.com/rcjhcvaX4O
There’s no guarantee the Leafs won’t make other moves, and their deadline space is enough to add over $18 million worth of players without touching the LTIR space available by moving Nathan Horton onto LTIR if necessary.
The drawback to that ‘add all the players in the NHL’ theory is that if the Leafs don’t leave enough room for the performance bonuses their young players can earn, those bonuses carry into next season. You cannot use LTIR to absorb bonuses.
The total potential performance bonuses are $5,400,000, so they will easily fit in the cap space as it stands now. By having so much extra cap space this season, the Leafs not only bought themselves an end to bonus rollovers, they bought an extra month of their deadline acquisition, something a lot of contending teams can’t afford to do.
Overall I think they get an A+ for adding and subtracting. And we should remember that the next time TSN (what time is it now?) does a story on the coming cap crunch.