Checking in on the Leafs cap situation a day before free agency

Last night the sky was very much falling as the Leafs overpaid on Matt Murray, who very much does not have a lot of value at the moment. The Leafs only getting 25% salary retention on Murray, and only receiving a 3rd and 7th round pick as compensation for the trouble isn’t going to sit particularly well, even though only taking on two years of term has to be considered a modest win, especially when those two years align with the expiration of the Leafs most critical contract in Auston Matthews.
Still, the Leafs very much need to be mindful of their cap budget, and just because everything looks rosy in the summer2024 doesn’t mean that things are rosy today. The Leafs still need to have a competitive enough team that Matthews is going to stay beyond his contract, and the question is, do the Leafs have much cap space to improve their roster now?

After the trade for Matt Murray the Leafs are left with approximately $7.1M dollars to find a backup goaltender, fill three forward vacancies (including Engvall), and sign Rasmus Sandin. That last one is the one that truly seems to be complicating things at the moment, but it is also the one that seems like it will need to be the next priority for the Leafs. Considering the Leafs can fill a couple of those forward vacancies easy with low cost Marlies like Joey Anderson and Alex Steeves, that should put things closer to $5.5M to deal with Sandin, Engvall, and the second part of the tandem. Still that seems somewhat doable if you want to live in the dream world where Sandin takes a deal similar to Liljegren’ …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation