We have assigned the following players to the @TorontoMarlies:— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 10, 2022
F Kyle Clifford
F Adam Gaudette
F Pontus Holmberg
D Filip Král
D Victor Mete
F Nick Robertson
F Wayne Simmonds
D William Villeneuve
D Jordie Benn and D Timothy Liljegren have been placed on long-term injured reserve.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 10, 2022
D Carl Dahlström has been placed on injured reserve.
To clarify, Dahlström is on SOIR and some of his cap hit will count.
Maple Leafs 2022-2023 opening day roster
This is a roster of 20.
Toronto Maple #LeafsForever roster is set:— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) October 10, 2022
Cap Hit: $84,649,996
Cap Space: $0
LTIR Use: $2,149,996
Roster Size: 20 (12F - 6D - 2G)
As expected, their LTIR roster is only $4 from the cap! The best LTIR placement we have ever seen!https://t.co/jFoYQjJAze
You can click through to the Cap Friendly page and see the updated roster. Of note, the Maple Leafs have exactly 50 SPCs that count against the limit. They actually have 52 in total. The very strong expectation is that some of the players now in the minors will be traded, either for no return or for fewer contracts coming back to balance the team’s needs. This is not an emergency, however, since the Leafs are not in the business of claiming anyone on waivers, and won’t be adding contracts by any means but a trade.
What remains a bit of mystery is will John Tavares play on Wednesday. The procedure if he does not is the following:
The team will play with the other 19 healthy players, or 11 F and 7 D. Once that happens, and should Tavares remain injured, they are in what is called a “roster emergency” and can recall one player who has a cap hit of less than $850,000 to fill in. The only player on an NHL contract in the AHL who has a cap hit higher than that is Wayne Simmonds. Every other person on the minors roster qualifies as an emergency exception recall. A player recalled in this way does not count against the salary cap, but they must leave as soon as the injured player returns to action.
This is the process that the Leafs will have to use to manage their roster under the current makeup. When Timothy Liljegren returns, some other, more permanent change will have to take place unless the Leafs are blessed with injuries again.
This is a risky process, but works well — the Maple Leafs have not invented this, nor are they the only team to use it. It works, that is, right up until too many players are injured or a goalie goes down, and you find yourself playing with an EBUG as a backup for a game.
From now until Liljegren’s return, this is the roster, and if that sounds like it means the players on it and the players in the minors are not done fighting for roster spots, well that’s true. Every coach’s dream is a team that is never complacent, and here it is.