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NHL Trades and Rumors

Maple Leafs Waived Travis Boyd to Go After Winger Before Deadline

There’s a reason the Maple Leafs waived Travis Boyd and it could be to go after a forward available on the trade market.

Travis Boyd Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost Travis Boyd to the Vancouver Canucks on waivers Monday. Interestingly, James Mirtle of The Athletic called this move well before it happened, arguing that waiving Boyd would make room for another player at the trade deadline. Mirtle figured the Boyd move would happen after the trade and likely clear and head to the Maple Leafs’ taxi squad, but either way, the move to waive a player was apparently done to avoid a dollar in, dollar out deal.

Related: NHL Executive Sees Flyers and Flames Fit Before Trade Deadline

Mirtle’s prediction is that the Leafs are going after forward Mikael Granlund. And, with some astuate salary cap juggling, including moving a player like Boyd, the Leafs might have the room to add Grandlund without sending out big salary in a trade to the Nashville Predators.

Mirtle wrote that the Leafs should have a deal in place [theoretical scenario], by the end of next week, on March 26. He adds that the timing of the trade is extremely important for the cap situation to work itself out. He adds that the Leafs will move draft picks, while doing the math under the assumption that both Jack Campbell and Wayne Simmonds will be back healthy by the end of next week.

Mirtle writes that Michael Hutchinson and Timothy Liljegren will go back to the taxi squad and thus save $631,726 under the salary cap by season’s end. If the Predators agree to retain half of Granlund’s prorated $1.42 million salary, the Leafs can get very close — within less than $80,000 if they keep half of the salary — to being able to accommodate the contract.

Mikael Granlund
Mikael Granlund a target of the Toronto Maple Leafs?

The scribe adds:

With Granlund joining the roster, the Leafs could use him to replace one of the forwards listed on the depth chart above. They would then be able to place someone like Travis Boyd on waivers and move him to the taxi squad and still have a minimum 20 players on the roster.

That would free up an additional $265,517 on top of the $631,726 space listed above, meaning that, as of next Friday, the Leafs would be on track to have roughly $900,000 in cap space to work with. (But that number changes based on when the trade and demotion take place.)

What About Vancouver?

The Canucks likely added Boyd in a final low-cost effort to make a push for the playoffs. They aren’t quite sellers yet, but they’ve added two pieces that could be moved, should they inevitably become a seller again.

One Twitter user pointed out that “the grand irony is that in picking up Boyd and Vesey to position themselves as deadline sellers, the most attractive trade pieces on VAN become… Travis Boyd and Jimmy Vesey.”

Next: It’s Time to See Timothy Liljegren in a Maple Leafs’ Uniform

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