Will the leafs have to make a trade?

The Leafs are over the salary cap, even if by several hundred thousand dollars, and they probably will have to do some deking before the final roster is submitted to the NHL on Monday.

It hurts that David Clarkson’s salary will count against the cap as he serves his 10-game suspension, and it’s almost a sure bet the Leafs will have fewer players to start than the 23-man roster allows.

“We probably will,” Loiselle said. “We’re going to ice the best team possible and the coach makes those decisions, and we will start the season. We have to start the season with no less than 18 (skaters) and two (goalies).”

Frazer McLaren’s injury status could play into the financial situation. He is on the mend from a broken finger, an injury inflicted by Carter Ashton earlier in camp.

The Leafs could have buried Liles’ $3.875-million salary-cap hit in the minors under the former collective bargaining agreement. But that option is gone under the new CBA, and the most the Leafs could save against the cap by sending Liles to the Marlies would be $925,000, though there is no indication the team is ready to go that route.

There has been talk of trying to unload the Liles contract — wouldn’t it be funny if Brian Burke, now running the Calgary Flames, wouldn’t bite on Liles because there’s too much money involved? — but the chances of a trade seem remote.

Liles clearly is not in coach Randy Carlyle’s immediate plans, not after being a healthy scratch in the playoffs and then seeing limited opportunity to re-prove himself in the pre-season.