Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reported today some news about the Leafs cap situation.
They quietly placed Nathan Horton, Joffrey Lupul and Stephane Robidas on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) earlier this season â?? giving themselves the flexibility to operate more than $15-million above the $73-million cap for the remainder of the year.
This is news, since up until now, Cap Friendly had listed all of these players as on Injured Reserve and therefore, fully counting against the salary cap.
Johnston explains the implications of this move in some detail, so do read his story. The gist is that they are very close to the cap without using LTIR, so the very large amount of performance bonuses the rookies will earn this year will show up next year as overages no matter what they do now.
So given that that bill is coming due anyway, and the space is there now, why not spend, spend, spend?
Cap Friendly now reports the deadline cap space of the Leafs with LTIR at $18,837,915. That’s a lot of cap space!
But, wait. What is there to spend it on? The Leafs have a chock-a-block roster with a clearly articulated plan of rebuilding through development of their prospects. Sure there’s room there to add Brian Boyle if you want a good man and a better 4C, but what else?
Johnston suggests Gudbranson, and I couldn’t agree more. Just not Erik Gudbranson, please. Alex Gudbranson, acquired on a loan deal from Minnesota, looked okay in his first outing as a Marlie last night, and he might be the sort of AHL depth piece the team needs. …
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