By now, it is no surprise that the Toronto Maple Leafs are shopping forward Nick Ritchie.
After a few tries in different spots in the lineup, Ritchie could never find any consistency. That led to him getting placed on waivers and added to the Toronto Maple Leafs taxi squad.
Once the NHL removed the taxi squad, Ritchie got sent down to the Toronto Marlies in the AHL. Obviously, this is not where Ritchie wants to spend the rest of the 2021-22 season.
Having him in the AHL does save the Leafs a little bit of cap space, but they would rather trade him and have his full $2.5 million cap hit. That $2.5 million could help Toronto GM Kyle Dubas add to his team before the March 21st trade deadline.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Nick Ritchie
During his 32 thoughts segment on Saturday, hockey insider Elliotte Friedman from Sportsnet reported that the Leafs were working on a move for Ritchie.
He also reported that if Toronto were to buyout Ritchie’s contract, it would cost them $300,000 against next season’s cap. So if the Toronto Maple Leafs need to retain any of Ritchie’s salary to make a deal happen, they don’t want to retain more than that amount.
Although there is always the buyout option, it is not the best option. According to the buyout calculator on puckpedia.com, the Toronto Maple Leafs would have Ritchie accounting for $300,000 against the salary cap in the 2022-23 season but $1.1 million in the 2023-24 season.
There are a few teams that could benefit from having Ritchie on their team. For some teams, he could be some added depth for the playoffs. For others, he could be a desperately needed roster player for next season.