Writing is on the wall for Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman John-Michael Liles
John-Michael Liles was the last one off the ice after Friday’s morning skate. Walking into the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room, he took off his jersey and some of his equipment and sat down in his stall.
He would not be making the trip to Detroit for the Toronto Maple Leafs second-last exhibition game. And with training camp coming to an end on Sunday, there was no guarantee that he would see another game in the NHL this season.
A victim of having a big contract on a team that is squeezed tight against the salary cap, the talk is that the 32-year-old will be sent down to the minors in order to save money.
For now, it is just talk. Liles has not heard anything from coaches or management regarding his roster spot. But he fully understands the situation. During drills, he is often the odd-man out. And when you have a cap hit of US$3.875-million, being a seventh or eighth defencemen is a luxury most teams cannot afford.