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Maple Leafs Strike First: They Have The Room To Be Lethal On March 3rd

TORONTO - JANUARY 26: Ian White #7 and Luke Schenn #2 of the Toronto Maple Leafs rough up Wayne Simmonds #17 of the Los Angeles Kings during game action January 26, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images
MAZEN SContributor IJanuary 27, 2010

$10,750,000.00

That is the magic number the Toronto Maple Leafs Management are looking at right now.  $10,750,000.00 is how much cap space the Leafs will have if they move Lee Stepniak, Alexi Panikarovski, Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman.

The Maple Leafs have the Cap room and are able to absorb salary dumps of other teams.  They need the perfect dance partner and that would be the Chicago Black Hawks.  Next season for the Hawks is unique.  With Toewes, Kane and Keith's contracts kicking in, they will have to move some players in order to accommondate the cap room required.  And that is where the Leafs come in.

According to the Huffington Post:

"The Blackhawks will have skillful, experienced, reasonably priced players on the trade market by draft day. It is unlikely Burke will choose to rebuild slowly, only through the draft.

The Hawks have trade chips to sweeten the pot to entice Burke to take on Huet's hefty contract. Toronto's management and fans realize their current goal tending situation is sketchy."

It goes on to say

"Toronto Maple Leafs' General Manager Brian Burke has let the word out he will be active before the trade deadline.

It has been mentioned Burke will be willing to take on expiring big dollar contracts in exchange for draft picks. He will also be looking to deal some of his veterans in exchange for 2010 draft selections.

Burke's draft pick cupboard is bare because of the acquisition of Phil Kessel, so he needs to accumulate selections to use in trades this summer. That will provide the opportunity for Hawks General Manager Stan Bowman to swing a big deal with the Leafs.

If Burke can maneuver out of his corner and acquire draft picks, then he could be in position to take on salary this summer. He would be a likely trade partner for Chicago.

The Blackhawks will have skillful, experienced, reasonably priced players on the trade market by draft day. It is unlikely Burke will choose to rebuild slowly, only through the draft."

According to Michael Traikos of the National Post 

"Here are five Blackhawks who could convince Burke to be a buyer:

Jack Skille, F, 22
Status: US$850,000; RFA in 2010-11
A seventh overall pick in the 2005 draft, Skille has spent more time in the minors than the NHL in the last three seasons. But part of that is because of Chicago’s depth and cap problems. With the Rockford IceHogs, he has scored 15 goals and 33 points in 38 games this season.

Kris Versteeg, F, 23
Status: US$3.083-million; RFA in 2012-13
A clerical mistake last summer forced Chicago to sign Versteeg to a three-year contract worth US$9-million. It is a hefty amount for a winger who has scored only 13 goals and 31 points this season. Still, the skilled winger projects to be a dangerous scorer in the near future.

Dustin Byfuglien, F, 24
Status: US$$3-million, RFA in 2011-12
The poor man’s Milan Lucic, Byfuglien is a 6-foot-4, 257-pound power forward who has the potential to score 25 goals. But with the similarly cantankerous Kyle Beach (drafted 11th overall in 2007) close to making the jump to the NHL, the Blackhawks might go with the cheaper option.

Andrew Ladd, F, 23
Status: US$1.55-million, RFA in 2010-11
Like Byfuglien, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Ladd plays the checking-type of game that Burke and head coach Ron Wilson desperately want their players to play. Originally a fourth-overall draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, Ladd was dealt to the Blackhawks at the trade deadline two years ago for Tuomo Ruutu.

Brian Campbell, D, 30
Status: US$7.14-million; UFA in 2016-17
Most GMs would not touch Campbell’s long-term contract with a 10-foot pole. But if Chicago were to toss in a first-round draft pick, the deal starts to look a little more enticing. Getting the puck-moving defenceman would surely take some creative accounting, but Burke has said in the past that he would not be averse to dumping salary in the minors."

In any situation that involves the possible trade of Brian Campbell to Toronto, expect at least a first round pick to be involved in that trade to entice Brian Burke.

Whatever shakes down over the next weeks or so, it sure will be very interesting for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

They are in a very good position going into the trade deadline and it is a given that all the speculation surrounding some of the Leafs is true.

Here is the Current Leafs Payroll Commitments

All values shown are the current salary cap charges.

 

ForwardsPos2009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15
Phil Kessel
LW5,400,000
4,500,000
5,400,000
6,000,000
5,400,000
6,000,000
5,400,000
5,100,000
5,400,000
5,400,000
UFA
Jason Blake
LW4,000,000
4,500,000
4,000,000
3,000,000
4,000,000
3,000,000
UFA
Niklas Hagman
LW3,000,000
3,000,000
3,000,000
3,000,000
3,000,000
3,000,000
UFA
Mikhail Grabovski
C2,900,000
2,750,000
2,900,000
2,850,000
2,900,000
3,100,000
UFA



Lee StempniakRW2,500,000
3,500,000
UFA


Alexei Ponikarovsky
RW2,105,000
2,500,000
UFA


Matt Stajan
C1,750,000
1,750,000
RFA


Nikolai Kulemin
LW1,487,500
850,000
RFA


Wayne Primeau
C1,400,000
1,400,000
UFA


Jamal Mayers
RW1,333,333
1,400,000
UFA


Ttl of Forwards 29,530,833
29,715,000
16,812,500,000
16,375,000
16,300,000
17,100,000
6,400,000
6,100,000
5,400,000
5,400,000
0
0
DefencePos2009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-05
Mike Komisarek
D4,500,000
4,500,000
4,500,000
4,500,000
4,500,000
4,500,000
4,500,000
4,500,000
UFA
Tomas Kaberle
D4,250,000
4,250,000
4,250,000
4,250,000
UFA

Francois Beauchemin
D3,800,000
4,200,000
3,800,000
3,550,000
3,800,000
3,650,000
UFA

Jeff Finger
D3,500,000
3,500,000
3,500,000
3,500,000
3,500,000
3,500,000
UFA
Mike Van Ryn
D2,900,000
3,350,000
UFA


Luke Schenn
D875,000
875,000
875,000
875,000
RFA

Garnet Exelby
D1,391,667
1,725,000
UFA


Ian White
F/D850,000
950,000
RFA


Ttl of Defencemen 22,866,667
23,980,000
17,725,000
17,305,000
11,800,000
11,650,000
4,500,000
4,500,000
0
0
0
0
GoaliesPos
GoaliesPos2009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142004-15
Vesa Toskala
G4,000,000
4,000,000
UFA


Jonas Gustavsson
G2,500,000
900,000
RFA



James Reimer
G596,667
555,000
596,667
555,000
RFA



Ttl of Goalies 7,096,667
5,455,000
596,667
555,000
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
ROSTER TOTAL: 59,494,167
59,150,000
35,164,167
34,235,000
28,100,000
28,750,000
10,900,000
10,600,000
5,400,000
5,400,000
0
0
BuyoutsPos2009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15
Darcy TuckerLW1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
Andrew RaycroftG733,333
733,333




Ttl of Buyouts 1,733,333
1,733,333
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
1,000,000
TOTAL CAP CHARGE 61,227,500
60,883,333
36,134,167
35,235,000
29,100,000
29,750,000
11,900,000
11,600,000
5,400,000
5,400,000
0
0
NHL Salary Cap* 56,700,000
56,700,000
56,700,000
56,700,000
56,700,000
56,700,000
TEAM CAP ROOM -4,527,500
20,565,833
27,600,000
44,800,000
51,300,000
56,700,000
Actual Team Payroll: 59,150,000
.
34,235,000
.
28,750,000
.
10,600,000
.
5,400,000
.
0
.

*Note: Future NHL Salary cap amounts are calculated using the current year’s league salary cap.

 

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