As the offseason for the Toronto Maple Leafs progresses we will periodically post what their roster will look like if the team began the season with only the players they have signed to contracts for the 2022-23 season.
In this post, we’ll include just the contracts that are actually signed and listed on the Maple Leaf’s roster by Capfriendly. It will not include players who are on the Toronto Marlies roster but signed to NHL, or two-way contracts.
We will update the roster as moves are made and new contracts are signed.
Maple Leafs’ Forwards, Thus Far
The Maple Leafs have the following forwards signed and listed on their roster.
|Maple Leafs’ Forwards||Salary-Cap Hits|
|William Nylander||$ 6,962,366|
|Alex Kerfoot||$ 3,500,000|
|David Kampf||$ 1,500,000|
|Michael Bunting||$ 950,000|
|Wayne Simmonds||$ 900,000|
|Nick Abruzzese||$ 859,000|
|Kyle Clifford||$ 762,500|
10 Forwards at a total Salary Cap Hit of $48,977,116
Maple Leafs’ Defense, Thus Far
The Maple Leafs have the following defensemen signed and listed on their roster.
|Maple Leafs Defensemen||Salary-Cap Hits|
|Morgan Rielly||$ 7,500,000|
|Jake Muzzin||$ 5,625,000|
|TJ Brodie||$ 5,000,000|
|Justin Holl||$ 2,000,000|
|Mark Giordano||$ 800,000|
Total 5 defensemen at a total Salary Cap Hit of $20,925,000
Maple Leafs’ Goalies, Thus Far
The Maple Leafs have the following goalies signed and listed on their roster.
|Maple Leafs’ Goalies||Total Salary Cap Hits|
|Petr Mrazek||$ 3,800,000|
|Erik Kallgren||$ 750,000|
Total 2 goalies at a total Salary Cap Hit of $ 4,550,000
Total of All Signed Maple Leafs’ Contracts
Bonus Overage (Liljegren) $ 212,500
Total Maple Leafs’ Cap Hit $ 74,664,616
Total Players Signed 17
Cap Space Remaining $ 7,835,384
Considering Other Maple Leafs Roster Moves
If the Maple Leafs want to carry thirteen forwards, seven defensemen, and two goalies for a total roster of 22 players. They have five roster players to sign and just over $7.8 million in cap space to do so.
The one question we have with the ten forwards listed is Nick Abruzzese. While we can see him having a chance to make this team out of camp, even though he is presently on the roster and did play nine games at the end of this season, it’s rare for a player that was the 124th pick in the fourth round of an entry draft to step right out of college onto an NHL roster.
We believe that it’s most likely he will spend the 2022-23 season with the Marlies in the AHL. But, because he is presently on the official roster we will count him until such a time the Maple Leafs remove him from the roster.
Also, Nick Robertson could easily be penciled in as the eleventh forward. That would give the Maple Leafs eighteen players and eleven forwards. His salary of $796,667 would give the team $7,038,717 of the remaining cap space with four players to sign.
Four Maple Leafs RFAs
The team has four restricted free agents on their main roster to sign. They are forwards Pierre Engvall and Ondrej Kase, and defensemen Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren.
The Maple Leafs have one other player signed to a one-way contract. Forward Joey Anderson is signed through the 2022/23 season for $750,000 but is presently on the Marlies’ roster.
The Number of Contracts Allowable
The organization has fourteen forwards, seven defensemen, and one goalie on the Marlies’ roster who are signed to two-way contracts, giving them a total of 40 players signed to contracts for the 2022-23 season. The limit for contracts in the NHL is 50 in total, giving the Maple Leafs room for ten more contracts. If they sign their four restricted free agents they will still have room for six more contracts in the organization.
The Goalie Situation
We cannot see the Maple Leafs willingly going into the 2022-23 season with Mrazek and Kallgren as their goaltending duo. Goalie changes must be on the way.
We can’t help but think it will take close to the full $7 million in salary-cap space to get Engvall, Kase, Sandin, and Liljegren signed if the Maple Leafs do indeed plan on signing all four of them. That would mean they would have to move salary out dollar for dollar to address the goaltending situation.
There are also their unsigned unrestricted free agents to consider. Unless any of them sign before July 1, they will no longer officially be part of this team. Those players include Jack Campbell, Ilya Mikheyev, Ilya Lyubushkin, Jason Spezza, and Colin Blackwell.
Jack Campbell has to be considered the main focus here, and we would expect the Maple Leafs will do everything in their power to get him re-signed. Because of their salary-cap constraints, it has to be a deal that allowed them room to address other areas. Right now it appears to us to be a 50/50 thing as to whether or not the team can get a deal done and retain Campbell.
In Mikheyev’s case, we think the chances are less than 50% that the Maple Leafs re-sign him.
What happens with Ilya Lyubushkin will be determined by his value on the open market. We consider him an upgrade over Justin Holl. He’s two years younger than Holl, and he played ahead of him in the lineup during the playoffs. For Lyubushkin to work, he would have to sign for similar money to Holl.
We don’t expect Colin Blackwell’s signing to be a priority for the Maple Leafs. While he didn’t play badly for the team when he came over in the Giordano deal, he didn’t have a major impact. We could see his roster spot being used to give someone from the Marlies a shot.
Congratulations to Jason Spezza
Suddenly, just prior to publishing this post, the news came out that Jason Spezza had retired as an active player to join the Maple Leafs’ front office. We will have an upcoming post on that story. (from “Jason Spezza announces retirement to join Maple Leafs front office,” Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun, 29/05/2022).
Related: The Best Late-Round NHL Draft Picks
[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]
The Old Prof (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for more than 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He’s a Canadian boy, who has two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing with his hockey cards and simply being a sports fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors, and CFL football (thinks Ricky Ray personifies how a professional athlete should act).
If you wonder why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son – who’s also Jim Parsons – wrote for The Hockey Writers first and asked Jim Sr. to use another name so readers wouldn’t confuse their work.
Because Jim Sr. had worked in China, he adopted the Mandarin word for teacher (老師). The first character lǎo (老) means “old,” and the second character shī (師) means “teacher.” The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher.” That became his pen name. Today, other than writing for The Hockey Writers, he teaches graduate students research design at several Canadian universities.
He looks forward to sharing his insights about the Toronto Maple Leafs and about how sports engages life more fully. His Twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf