The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to rearrange their defense core.
After trading Carl Gunnarsson to the St. Louis Blues in return for Roman Polak on Saturday, the Leafs have now bought out the remaining two years of defenseman Tim Gleason‘s contract, or at least putting him on waivers with the purpose of buying him out tomorrow.
This is obviously a move to clear up more cap space. Gleason’s half-season in Toronto wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either (unless you only care about possession stats). He was in Toronto basically to do what Polak will now do: be a big man in front of the net and play tough against the opposition.
According to James Mirtle, the Leafs will now have about $23 million in cap space to sign their own and other free agents. The question is now, what is going to be the Leafs’ biggest focus. They want to re-sign David Bolland. Is this a way to save money in order to sign him? Or will the money saved will go towards bringing in another defenseman? Mirtle mentions the reports that the Leafs went after Montreal Canadiens’ defenseman Josh Gorges even though they are not on his list of teams that he’ll allow a trade to.
It looks like the Leafs are finally making the moves that need to be made. After all the rumors that were flying around, it’s nice to see some actual concrete news. With free agency starting tomorrow, the Leafs should be a team that is ready to make some moves. They might not sign a top forward, but I would expect them to go after one of the top defenseman, Dan Boyle possibly being at the top of that list.
One thing is for sure, when the Toronto Maple Leafs kick off the 2014-15 season on October 9, the defense core will look very different to the one we last saw in April.