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Maple Leafs Waive Four: Campbell, Froese, Laich, Greening

The Leafs' roster is nearly set.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

As per TSN reporter and hockey king Bob McKenzie, the Leafs have placed three forwards and a defenceman on waivers: Byron Froese, Brooks Laich, Colin Greening, and Andrew Campbell.

The only real surprise here is Brooks Laich; many of us (including me) thought that his general good example and his track record would give him the edge for the 4C spot over Peter Holland.  However, Peter Holland is very likely a better player at this point, and performed well in the preseason.  Having said that, clearing waivers doesn't necessarily mean Laich is going to be sent to the AHL.

Both Laich and Colin Greening probably make too much, in both cap dollars and real ones, to be very appealing as a waiver pickup.  (Laich's hit is $4.5M and his real salary this year is $4.0M; Greening's cap is $2.65M vs $3.2M real.  According to General Fanager, neither deal features a significant signing bonus, so the money remains to be paid to both men.)  Greening may still be a useful player to a team looking for a bottom-six forward, but maybe not at that price.  It's worth noting that (as Jame Mirtle pointed out on Twitter) the Leafs save $950K against the

Byron Froese is a defensively sound but offensively very limited player; I'd expect him to clear on his way to the AHL, and we may see him again at some point as an injury replacement.

As for the defence: Andrew Campbell, at a veteran age 28, returns to captain the Marlies for another year.  A claim on him would be a surprise. The Leafs are now down to the eight defencemen everyone expected: Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly, Nikita Zaitsev, Martin Marincin, Connor Carrick, Roman Polak, Matt Hunwick, and Frank Corrado.  However, of those eight, only Zaitsev is waiver exempt, and he's almost certainly locked into the NHL lineup.  This means that should the Leafs decide not to carry eight defenders, someone--probably Frank Corrado or Roman Polak--is getting waived.

The biggest remaining questions are at forward.  Scoring-forward-looking-for-a-chance Josh Leivo and injured grit bomber Nikita Soshnikov remain on the roster, as does exciting young winger Connor Brown.  To the consternation of Leafs' fans everywhere, Brandon Prust is still on a PTO.  Stay tuned.