The biggest question for the Toronto Maple Leafs is who will be kept and who will be dealt from the current playing roster?
Some people have suggested the need to part ways with at least one of the ‘big four’ forwards to try to alleviate their caps concerns and acquire a quality defenceman to help give the team a more rounded roster.
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This may be one avenue Dubas considers between now and the draft/free agency period, but it is more likely that a player in the middle of the pack or further down is traded to free up some room.
Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson both have value, with each possessing a skill set that teams around the league would appreciate as well as having very cost-friendly contracts sitting just over $3 million each.
There are also questions over how much longer Frederik Andersen remains on the team, with his contract expiring next summer and the Dane likely to be out the door regardless of how well he plays until then – thanks largely to the flat cap over the next two seasons.
Whoever is kept around or leaves, no matter the circumstances, the team cannot accept the same results year after year – with some strong regular-season showings, particularly on offence, ultimately leading to nowhere as the team fails to progress beyond the first round of the post-season.
Something has to change for the Toronto Maple Leafs and, as things stand, those decisions lay firmly with Dubas and it will be up to him to make moves that show he is capable of putting this team in a position to progress and live up to expectations.