Leafs Face Huge Problem Ahead of the Upcoming Season

Published July 24, 2023 at 4:58 PM
BY WADE MESSIER
     
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Many Maple Leafs fans already know that the team is experiencing some trouble getting back under the NHL's salary cap, but things just got a whole lot worse. With the next season rapidly approaching, something needs to be done fast.

Samsonov Contract Means Bad News



Ilya Samsonov was awarded a one-year contract yesterday by an arbitrator, who determined that the goaltender should earn $3.55 million for the upcoming season. While this is a very reasonable deal given Samsonov's performance last season, Toronto now has an even bigger hole to dig themselves out of.

The Maple Leafs now sit at over $12 million above the NHL's salary cap with the recent signing of Samsonov, and they need to be cap compliant before the beginning of the 2023-24 NHL season.

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While there are some cap gymnastics the Leafs can pull to make their situation easier, they're still bound to lose some important pieces if they want to become cap compliant.

What Can They Do?



While Toronto will likely place defenseman Jake Muzzin on LTIR, which would remove his $5.625 million cap hit from their roster, that would still leave them about $7 million over the salary cap.

At this point, Toronto is likely going to have to pay another team to take Matt Murray's contract, which would alleviate another $4.687 million from their cap hit.

Once these two actions are done, Toronto will need to trade a current roster player in order to become cap compliant. A name like T.J. Brodie makes sense, especially when considering how crowded Toronto's blueline currently is.

Toronto dug themselves this hole and will have to dog themselves out now.

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