What The Toronto Maple Leafs Need To Do With All Their Pending Free Agents

Which Pending Free Agents The Toronto Maple Leafs Need To Resign
Which Pending Free Agents The Toronto Maple Leafs Need To Resign / Elsa/GettyImages
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On Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs new head coach, Craig Berube, addressed the media for the first time.

While he didn't say too much outside of what you would expect from a coach addressing the harshest media group in the NHL, we did learn that the Maple Leafs front office and Berube would be sitting down with the team scouts throughout the rest of this week and next to assess the roster situation and start planning how they want to approach this offseason. 

Now, the front office has already committed to being aggressive and making significant changes in pursuit of getting this team over the hump and into the Stanley Cup finals.

The first step is assessing and figuring out what to do with the players whose contracts have expired. 

The Maple Leafs have 12 players on expired contracts—14 if you count John Klingberg and Matt Murray—but I don't see the Leafs' interest in bringing either of those guys back. 

Eight of these players will be unrestricted free agents, and the other four are restricted free agents, meaning the Maple Leafs still control their rights and can match any offer given to these four guys. With all of these contacts coming off the books, the Maple Leafs are opening up $28,184,167 in cap space when you factor in the salary cap increase that takes effect before next year.

However, they will have closer to $20,861,780 (via CapFriendly) to work with after factoring in Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Bobby McMann and Simon Benoit's contract extension. 

In most cases, this is a lot of cap space to work with, but for a team committed to making significant changes, it could handcuff them. Let's discuss which pending Maple Leafs free agents must return to Toronto next season.