Maple Leafs could use loophole to re-sign John Klingberg and Matt Murray cheaper

Tyler Ball
June 2, 2024  (12:05)

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Matt Murray (left), and defenseman John Klingberg (right).
Photo credit: X/Twitter

The Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly interested in bringing back veterans Matt Murray and John Klingberg for next season and could do so on potentially very cheap deals.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are once again expected to be right up against the salary cap. With several players expected to be free agents from last year's team finding ways to bring back talent is paramount. According to sources two Maple Leafs are interested in returning to the team.
Perhaps we have not seen the last of John Klingberg and Matt Murray donning the Blue and White
Both players dealt with major injuries last season and missed significant time. These injuries could allow the Toronto Maple Leafs to sign them to incentive-heavy contracts through a rule in the CBA.
Injured Veteran Performance Bonuses

Eligibility: This clause applies to players who are "400-plus game Players" for pension purposes.
Criteria: To qualify, these players must have spent at least 100 days on the Injured Reserve (IR) list in the last year of their most recent Standard Player Contract (SPC).
Contract Conditions: These players must sign a one-year SPC for the current or upcoming League Year to be eligible for performance bonuses.

This clause means the team could sign both players to league-minimum contracts. Then add in a bonus for playing 10 NHL games the bonus would then get them up to the salary they would normally make.
However, the money would not hit the cap until the next season. This would allow the Maple Leafs to kick the can down the road and have more space to go all in during the 2024-25 season but sacrifice space the next season.
If the Maple Leafs do decide to make this move for one or both of these players it would shore up their depth. Then they could spend a lot more on the bigger fish in free agency or on the trade market. As of now, Brad Treliving has not made a decision on either player according to reports but once he does we will provide all of the latest news.