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Jake Muzzin and the Maple Leafs Salary Cap

Will the dreaded bonus rollover be a thing?

World Cup Of Hockey 2016 Final - Game Two - Canada v Europe
Muzzin hoisting a Cup for Mike Babcock.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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.

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.