After another off-season that seemed to take an eternity of time, real hockey is one sunset and sunrise away for the Toronto Maple Leafs. San Jose and Nashville already started their seasons over in Europe for a couple of games, and four more teams will play their first games later today.
But for Toronto, we’ll have to wait until 7 pm tomorrow when they open their season against the Montreal Canadiens. If you missed some of the news that came out over the long weekend about the final roster cuts and salary cap shenaniganery, let’s get you caught up:
Maple Leafs sign Zach Aston-Reese to a one year, $840,630 contract. If that salary number looks weirdly precise, that’s because it is! Toronto needed to wait to figure out the health of some of their banged up players to open the season, and who they would keep and cut so they knew exactly how much they could afford to give Aston-Reese. That helped them get almost exactly under the cap.
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
That final roster required Toronto to put a bunch of players through waivers, but all of them have cleared. Other prospects, including Nick Robertson, were all sent down to the Marlies to open the season. With the mix of NHL guys sent down and all of Toronto’s top prospects on the Marlies sent down, they should have a pretty formidable team. A good mix of prospects on the cusp of the NHL (Robertson, Abruzzese, Holmberg, Steeves) and guys who were capable NHL depth (Gaudette, Mete, Shaw, Benn, Dahlstrom).
One of the sadder players included in those waivers was Wayne Simmonds. He may have been not good enough for Toronto’s depth last year, but I still love him. Toronto evidently feels the same way, as they are reportedly making him available for any team that wants him. I’m halfway rooting for him to wind up on Philly, who will not be good anyway, and where he spent the peak of his NHL career for many years.
The end result of all the waivers, cuts and signing is we now have the opening day roster for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto Maple Leafs Official Roster https://t.co/5PHM259Eni— Pension Plan Puppets (@PPPLeafs) October 10, 2022
It’s pretty much everyone we thought it would be, with Denis Malgin being the one to beat out the likes of Adam Gaudette and Nick Robertson — though in Robertson’s case, that had as much to do with waiver status and cap hit as anything else.
Sheldon Keefe says Nick Robertson starting the season in the AHL is simply him not requiring waivers and being a casualty of the salary cap: “I have all the confidence that (Robertson) will be back here when needed.”— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) October 10, 2022
LINKS FROM THE BRANCHES
Season Preview: A position-by-position breakdown of the 2022-23 Toronto Maple Leafs | by Kevin Papetti at MLHS
32 THOUGHTS: THE PODCAST — Eastern Conference Season Preview | by Sportsnet
How hyped are you for the new Toronto Maple Leafs’ season?
|I’m not ready to be hurt again just yet||98|