There is little heavy-lifting required for the Toronto Maple Leafs to cut their roster down to 23 for next weeks season opener.
Nazem Kadri is expected to be placed on injured reserve which will allow Toronto to keep an extra body on the roster while he recovers from a knee strain.
The Leafs will keep eight defensemen, with Matt Lashoff likely the odd man out. Meanwhile, close tabs will be kept on both Keith Aulie and Jake Gardiner to ensure they can handle the load.
Could oil trade one of their young forwards for puck-moving D? They need one with whitney hurt to get puck to Hall and Co.
With Doughty signed and rosters set it looks like time for the yearly predictions….
2 Tampa Bay
5 NY Rangers
Ray Whitney’s name keeps bubbling up as a potential pickup for the Bruins. Not the first time the crafty winger’s name has been linked to the Black and Gold. He is making $3 million in Phoenix and is on track to be an unrestricted free agent next July 1. Whitney, 39, collected 57 points last season with the Desert Dogs, the same number Patrice Bergeron put up as Boston’s No. 3 scorer.
Clearly discouraged by its current roster, Maple Leafs management is actively working the phones trying to make deals prior to Thursday’s start of the regular season.
What the Leafs would like to do — and may have difficulty accomplishing — is packaging some of their depth players in an attempted deals for single established players in return.