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Maple Leafs opening day roster is set

The injury to Ilya Mikheyev staved off a few hard decisions.

Photos-leafs Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images

This is the current roster with cap hits using the Cap Friendly Armchair GM tool. Auston Matthews may never technically be on IR because they don’t need the roster room, but it was a handy place to stash him.

Cap Friendly

With Adam Brooks lost to the Montréal Canadiens on waivers and Ilya Mikheyev out eight weeks and able to go on LTIR, there only needed to be one cut made today to make the roster fit. The choice was a forward, Kirill Semyonov or a defenceman, Timothy Liljegren. Both are waivers exempt and have a very similar cap hit.

The Leafs now have the unexpected opportunity to play Liljegren for some games over the next eight weeks, and they also have the ability to swap him for Semyonov with no waivers implications, should they need a forward. They don’t have to do anything at all, barring injuries between now and Mikheyev’s return.

The Leafs had some training camp injuries to account for beyond Matthews and Mikheyev, and there has not yet been any word on final cap numbers, but for now, we know who is on this roster for the next few weeks. We’ll update you when we have the absolutely final information.

Update:

What this means: The ACSL is effectively the upper limit the Leafs can stay below to bank cap space. That is almost $112,000 below the actual cap upper limits, making this a not very efficient implementation of LTIR. The reason for that is simple, and a little ironic. The Leafs don’t have anyone making enough to have added them to the roster to get a little higher. Everyone from Kirill Semyonov to Nick Robertson to new signings like Pavel Gogolev make less than Timothy Liljegren’s $863,333. That was holding him back before, now it guaranteed him at least a moment on the roster to get the total cap hits as high as possible.

However, with the LTIR pool able to contain two full salaries in the range the Leafs have kept their callups, there is flexibility on the roster and a total of 22 players not on LTIR. They will not bank any space for two months.

When Mikheyev returns to the roster, two players of some description will have to come off, and Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin are the only waivers exempt players. Without other injuries or some other move, some forward will get waived.

Final Update: The official NHL list of all rosters shows Alex Steeves, Ian Scott and Joe Woll as Injured and/or non-roster. They will all be on SOIR, which provides total cap relief. They are all waivers exempt and will go to the Marlies when healthy.