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What’s the Maple Leafs cap space like post Kapanen trade?

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The Leafs aren’t up against the cap anymore. It’s a least a foot away now.

Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

It seems like just last week, we talked about how the Leafs are in fact up against the cap, which is not quite what Kyle Dubas said at his post-season presser. He did say that they could create more space by making moves, and so he did.

How much space? That really does depend on the results of contract negotiations with various RFAs, including the newest, Evan Rodrigues.

Trading Kapanen removed his $3.2 million cap hit from the equation, but Rodrigues, an NHL roster player who is not waivers exempt, and has two full seasons in the NHL, is 27, but is an RFA with arbitration rights.

His qualifying offer will be $2 million, the same as his salary this season, so the Leafs have a couple of choices: They can negotiate a deal in the many weeks between now and the deadline for qualifying offers (likely October 6), or they can qualify him and either seek arbitration themselves, let him accept his offer or seek arbitration himself. He doesn’t have the kinds of statistics that would have got Cody Ceci a good arbitration award last summer (ice time and points), but he’s not going to get less than $2 million. Avoiding arbitration seems to be in the Leafs interest.

If the Leafs feel his worth is less than $2 million, they will likely negotiate with him and make a deal for a longer term than he’ll get in arbitration, as he’s only entitled to a one-year deal in a arbitration award.

Filip Hallander was signed to an ELC at age 18 in 2018. His contract slid the first year, and will again this year, meaning it will not expire until 2023. The AAV is 927,500 this season with performance bonuses, but only $778,333 straight up. The further slide will lower that as another signing bonus gets paid.

UPDATE: I fudged that because I hate doing this calculation. And now I don’t have to:

The offseason and speculative 2020-2021 salary cap calculations have been updated with all of that, and this is the result:

Post Kapanen Trade Salary Cap

Name Cap Hit (or Qualifying Offer) Days in NHL If 2-way Prorated Cap Hit Projected Roster
Name Cap Hit (or Qualifying Offer) Days in NHL If 2-way Prorated Cap Hit Projected Roster
One-Way Contracts
Auston Matthews 11,634,000 11,634,000 11,634,000
John Tavares 11,000,000 11,000,000 11,000,000
Mitch Marner 10,893,000 10,893,000 10,893,000
William Nylander 6,932,366 6,932,366 6,932,366
Alex Kerfoot 3,500,000 3,500,000 3,500,000
Andreas Johnsson 3,400,000 3,400,000 3,400,000
Zach Hyman 2,250,000 2,250,000 2,250,000
Pierre Engvall 1,250,000 1,250,000 1,250,000
Nic Petan 775,000 775,000
Kalle Kossila 700,000 700,000
Morgan Rielly 5,000,000 5,000,000 5,000,000
Jake Muzzin 5,625,000 5,625,000 5,625,000
Justin Holl 2,000,000 2,000,000 2,000,000
Martin Marincin 700,000 700,000 700,000
Calle Rosen 750,000 750,000
Frederik Andersen 5,000,000 5,000,000 5,000,000
Jack Campbell 1,650,000 1,650,000 1,650,000
Two-Way Contracts
Egor Korshkov 925,000 5 24,866
Nick Robertson 850,000 0 0
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev 783,333 0 0
Filip Hallander 778,333 0 0
Adam Brooks 725,000 25 97,446
Alexander Brabanov 925,000 0 0 925,000
Mikhail Abramov 810,000 0 0
Rasmus Sandin 894,137 96 461,490 894,137
Timothy Liljegren 863,333 37 171,738 863,333
Joe Duszak 800,000 0 0
Mac Hollowell 799,766 0 0
Teemu Kivihalme 725,000 5 19,758
Mikko Lehtonen 925,000 0 0 925,000
Kristians Rubins 785,000 0 0
Filip Kral 810,000 0 0
Ian Scott 805,833 0 0
Joseph Woll 800,000 0 0
Qualifying Offers
Evan Rodrigues 2,000,000 186 2,000,000 2,000,000
Denis Malgin 787,500 186 787,500 787,500
Frederik Gauthier 735,000 186 735,000 735,000
Max Veronneau 874,125 10 46,996
Jeremy Bracco 787,500 1 4,234
Ilya Mikheyev 874,125 87 408,865 874,125
Travis Dermott - one way 874,125 874,125 874,125
Retained 1,200,000 1,200,000 1,200,000
Total: 95,196,476 79,891,384 80,912,586
Salary Cap 81,500,000 81,500,000
10% overage 8,150,000
Total: 89,650,000 81,500,000
Cap Space 9,758,616 587,414

I’ve just selected Rodrigues as the player to replace Kapanen on a plausible roster.

The Leafs now have room for 23 on the roster by using only the Qualifying Offer amounts for some of the RFAs. The improvement is $1.2 million in total.

Their offseason space has now grown to $9.758 million, which is enough to sign Alex Pietrangelo (probably) on free agent day and then find seven million or so in cap space after to make it fit on a short roster.

This won’t be the only move of the offseason, so this picture will continue to change as Kyle Dubas tinkers with his lineup.