Fellow Leaf fans, it's time for a reality check. With Mats Sundin, Ed Belfour and Bryan McCabe eating a good chunk of the salary cap, there's little coin left to add skill or even replace the skill we're losing. As of this moment, here are the players under contract with our Toronto Maple Leafs, ranked by salary.
Goalies: Ed Belfour, Mikael Tellqvist
Defencemen: Bryan McCabe, Tomas Kaberle, Ken Klee, Aki Berg, Karel Pilar
Forwards: Mats Sundin, Darcy Tucker, Jeff O'Neill, Nik Antropov, Matt Stajan, Wade Belak, Chad Kilger, Alex Ponikarovsky, Nathan Perrott
It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see we're in some serious trouble here. The aforementioned players account for $28.7 million of our $39 million cap, and we'll probably aim for $36 million. That means we have a whopping $7 million to flesh out the rest of our team this season. Ouch.
I'm with the blue and white through thick and thin, but I think this is going to be a particularly painful season. There's a sad lack of skill here and no money to buy some help. Take a look at our forwards...Sundin makes five million more than our #2 Tucker and the craptacular Antropov is sitting pretty at number four. Double ouch. No Nolan, no Mogilny, no Roberts and no Nieuwendyk. The defense is no better with butt-check McCabe leading the way. Triple ouch.
Wanted: Great players willing to play in the capital of the universe for cheap. Apply today.