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Insider Thinks Leafs Have Found Creative Way Around Salary Cap Crunch

Have the Toronto Maple Leafs found a creative way to get around their potential salary cap crunch issues?

There are a few things that might look a little different in the NHL next season. Outside of the obvious uncertainty that surrounds the games, how they’ll be played, where they’ll be played, and how many will be played, NHL organizations might have a little leeway when it comes to carrying players on their roster or travelling with non-regular NHLers in the event of injuries or roster changes.

Related: Maple Leafs Agree to 2-Yr Deal With Ilya Mikheyev

Like teams were permitted to do in the NHL bubble this past postseason, some players were included on a team’s play-in and bubble roster that didn’t actually play. This was done to help ease the burden of travel associated to callups and other complications that could arise with no AHL or affiliate leagues from which to call players and no other roster actively running.

While there’s no guarantee that this will happen again next season, GMs are realizing that there may be some considerations given to make things easier for teams. If so, it would be wise for franchises to take advantage.

In one such case, it appears the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to run a shorter roster to start the season and TSN’s Frank Seravalli detailed how GM Kyle Dubas might be approaching his cap crunch problems.

How The Leafs Might Approach Next Season

When asked if the Maple Leafs were going to be handcuffed moving forward, Seravalli didn’t think so. He said, “I think the Leafs have it pretty much well sorted out at this point with how they’re going to handle the $81.5 million cap.”

Kyle Dubas Maple Leafs 2

After signing forward Ilya Mikheyev on Tuesday, the team still has to get a deal with Travis Dermott taken care of. Once done, the Leafs are set. Instead of a 23-man roster, their plan is to stay as close to 20 players on the roster as possible, maybe carrying 21 players on game day.

From there, Seravalli explains that the team might shuttle a waiver exempt player down to the minors to accrue salary cap space to start the season and on off days. He then notes, “And then after that, once they have some space banked up, then they can begin to get creative if need be later in the season.”

The hockey insider added that because clubs will likely be told they can have some exempt cap players travelling with your team at all times, it makes sense to run a shorter roster with less salary counting towards the cap.

It’s creative and a unique way around the potential issues that could arise with salary on the books.

Next: NHL Free Agency: 2020 Division Review – Atlantic Division

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