To clarify, Dahlström is on SOIR and some of his cap hit will count.

Maple Leafs 2022-2023 opening day roster

Mark Giordano55D
Jake Muzzin8D
TJ Brodie78D
Justin Holl3D
Morgan Rielly44D
Rasmus Sandin38D
John Tavares91F
Calle Järnkrok19F
Alexander Kerfoot15F
William Nylander88F
Nicolas Aubé-Kubel96F
Michael Bunting58F
Pierre Engvall47F
Mitchell Marner16F
Denis Malgin62F
Auston Matthews34F
Zach Aston-Reese16F
David Kämpf64F
Matt Murray30G
Ilya Samsonov35G
Timothy Liljegren37D
Jordie Benn18D
Carl Dahlström48D

This is a roster of 20.

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.