What can the Leafs afford really?
The perception has been, for a while now, that the Leafs have a lot of money to spend on Free Agents. Unless, they manage to unload some contracts somewhere, this is simply not true. Some of my numbers or guesses may be slightly off, but the overall picture is pretty much what I am laying out here. The most up to date look at the numbers are as follows:
Buyouts – 2 million (belfour .75, Domi 1.25)
Goalies – 2.464 million
Raycroft, 1.35 (qualifying offer only?, this could go up)
Defense – 10.612 million
Forwards – 14.4136
Pohl *, .5 (somewhere around this number?)
Total Committed: 29.5 million (approx.)
Unless they give up on, or trade Colaiacovo or he doesn’t play, they will be on the hook for around 900k (give or take). Karel Pilar might be brought in again for say 500K. You can pencil in a Marlie or two (depending on Pilar) out of Harrison, White, Bell, Wozniewski for 500k each. So, you add about 1.9 million for 3 more, in-system, D-men. Now, the Leafs have 6 D-men at about 12.5 Million
You would have to believe Stajan and Wellwood are back at about 1 million each. So that adds 2 million and we now have 11 forwards for 16.4136
We need 1 more D-man, and 2 more forwards.
We have committed 33.32, give or take, so there is about 8 million left if we want to keep 2 million under the cap, which would be wise.
Patrick Elias is looking for around 8. I doubt he gets it, but I bet he gets 7-7.5 or so. Therefore, I see him as out of the question unless the Leafs can sign him for 6.75-7 and pay another D-man the minimum.
I suspect Gary Roberts (2.25) and Eric Lindros (1?) may be back, so we are looking at either unloading a current forward to make room for a new one, or just getting another D-man. If we unload a forward and save 1 million (optimistic), we have about 5.75 million to spend on a new forward and a new D-man.
So what can the Leafs afford if they sign their current people and pick up Roberts and Lindros? I am guessing that, best case, they can get a Langenbrunner and a Jay McKee type.
If they don’t sign Roberts and Lindros, they could afford Ellias at 7, another rookie at 500K and bring up another Marlie D-man… I just don’t see that happening.
This all assumes we *can* trade a forward like Antropov or Belak or Kilger or something and it assumes that we won’t give Raycroft a new contract at more money and assume we don’t pick up Pronger for Kaberle and Stajan (leaving us another million short, and now we need another forward)
Bottom line: It is pretty dicey whether the Leafs can afford any big names this off-season.