As it stands, the Leafs have four forwards (captain Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan, Matt Stajan, Darcy Tucker), three defencemen (Tomas Kaberle, Ken Klee and Bryan McCabe) and goaltender Ed Belfour signed to contracts. Those players are set to make $26.634 million dollars US next season, and that's taking into account the 24 per cent rollback that will be part of the new CBA. (as reported by www.sportsnet.ca)
This current lineup leaves approximately $13 million in a hypothetical $40 million cap on a 22 man roster - 13 forwards, 7 defencemen, and 2 goalies.
IN $13 million dollars the Leafs need to sign 9 forwards, 4 defencemen, an a backup goalie...WOW. One will definitely have to consider buyouts for Nolan, and Belfour - if not drastic renegotiation of current salaries.
By the looks of things I would have to say, we have seen the last of Leetch, Mogilny, and maybe even fan favourite Tie Domi if he does not accept a major salary reduction - one that would be fitting for player of his limited skills. I do however see, Roberts and Nieuwendyk taking reduced salaries to have another run with the Leafs, so I can see Domi fitting in this group as well. But for Leetch - his age, and ALMO's injury problems, it might be appropriate to say goodbye to these two, and even a buyout of Nolan's big contract as well.
With this I can see $3-$3.5 million for Roberts, Nieuwendyk, and Domi leaving $9.5 - $10 million for 6 forwards, 4 defencemen, and a backup goalie. With the new world, the Leafs will finally have to examine and implement more inexpensive younger talent with upside on the squad. Whether it be from the Marlies with Wellwood, and Stajan upfront and Colliacovo, Harrison and Bell on the blueline, this is inevitable.
So in conclusion, this $10 million amount is what is going to make or break the Leafs fortune. Not only for this upcoming year, but the near future as well.