Ryan Reaves, David Kampf, Pontus Holmberg
Photo credit: Las Vegas Review - Journal

3 non-core players the Leafs can trade to open up additional cap room

Published May 14, 2024 at 8:36

If the Maple Leafs want to give themselves some additional cap flexibility, there are 3 players they should consider trading, outside of the Core 4.

Mitch Marner trade talks have been the focus in Leaf land since the team was eliminated by the Bruins. I'm not saying they should not explore trading him, although, I think they should look at trading some additional depth players as well.

Check out this tweet by NHL writer Kevin Papetti:

If the Leafs can off-load contracts like Reaves, Kampf and Timmins and replace them with rookies or league minimum guys, it could open up approximately $2M in additional cap space. That would be huge for a Leafs team that heavily rely on their top players for offence.

Let's take a look at Tyler Bertuzzi for example.

Bertuzzi is coming off of a 1-year, $5.5M AVV contract with the Leafs. If the Leafs had more cap space by moving on from some of their less impactful depth players mentioned above, they could turn a Tyler Bertuzzi type player into a Brock Boeser ($6.65M AVV), Chris Kreider ($6.5M AVV) or Troy Terry ($7M AVV) type player.

This would add significant value for a Leafs team that is in need of more balanced scoring. Of course, this isn't to say that any of those aforementioned players are actually available. I'm simply using them as an example of players in that salary range who are more productive than Bertuzzi was this season.

While Reaves, Kampf and Timmins have all shown glimpses of strong play this season, the unfortunate reality is that the roles these players have on the team can be replaced by league minimum type players. If the Leafs can open up some cap space by parting them off for younger players or similar player archetypes on lesser contracts, it will give them a lot more flexibility than they had this past season.
May 14   |   689 answers
3 non-core players the Leafs can trade to open up additional cap room

Which depth player on this list should the Leafs keep?

Ryan Reaves15622.6 %
David Kampf22031.9 %
Connor Timmins11416.5 %
None of them19928.9 %
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