The Leafs’ late surge is bringing next season’s team into clearer focus. Let’s take a look at each member of the current roster and where they stand moving forward.
Heading into the second and final year of his NHL Entry Level contract, Bozak has cemented his spot on the big club and could continue seeing top line duty as Phil Kessel’s centre.
Caputi hasn’t looked out of place since coming over from Pittsburgh in the Alex Ponikarovsky deal, but his place on the ’10-11 club will depend upon who his training camp competition is.
Grabovski isn’t a Brian Burke type and is locked in for another two years at a cap hit of $2.9 million per, so he could be a trade chip. A skilled 26-year old player could reap a strong return.
Hanson has shown a willingness to use his size and play physically, but he could use more seasoning and will likely begin the year as a Marlie.
One of the team’s building blocks and locked up for another four years. The character questions that dogged Kessel in Boston have been non-existent one year into his Leafs career.
A restricted free agent and a key element to the Leafs’ off-season, Kulemin has stated that he wants to sign with Toronto but will likely receive overtures to play in the KHL.
Lundmark is a free agent after this season, and it’s hard to see him remaining in blue and white after this season. His roster spot could be easily filled by a young farmhand with more upside.
Mitchell has picked up his game of late, and is cementing himself as a shootout specialist with two recent winners.
Orr has come as advertised for the Leafs this season, ranking second league-wide in PIM (204 minutes). He is signed for another three years with the team.
Although he’s a free agent after this year, Primeau could return for the right price as a player who contributes depth and veteran leadership to a young team.
Expect Rosehill to be a pinball again next year, bouncing back and forth between the Leafs and Marlies depending upon the big club’s need for added depth / additional toughness.
Sjostrom is signed through next season, and serves a valuable role as a defensive-minded forward who is at his best on the penalty kill.
Another guy who’s status is directly tied to what else Burke and the Leafs wind up doing over the off-season. Even if a spot in the forward corps is available, Stalberg might be best suited to get extra ice-time and try to work on consistency in the AHL.
A disappointment this season, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which Wallin is re-signed by the Leafs this summer.
While he could be had in the right trade (especially if Burke elects to hold onto Tomas Kaberle), Beauchemin has two years left on his contract and will likely remain a part of the Leafs’ blue line.
An unrestricted free agent after this season. In other words, see ya, Garnet!
After Burke jettisoned guys like Pavel Kubina and Jason Blake, Finger remains the last real albatross contract on the team. It won’t be easy to get anyone to eat the remaining two years and $7 million left on his contract.
Gunnarsson has had such a strong season that, even on a team with the defensive depth that Toronto possesses, he has cemented his place with the big club heading into next year.
The big question mark on this team. Kaberle’s no-trade clause comes off during the off-season, meaning that Burke can put his biggest trade chip in play. He will clearly be in the market for a forward and/or prospects, but the blue liner could hang around if he doesn’t find the right offer.
Komisarek has his roster spot locked up and only has to worry about getting healthy heading into next year. Opposing forwards can’t be thrilled with the prospect of facing a defensive unit that boasts Komisarek and Dion Phaneuf.
Speaking of Phaneuf, he is already establishing himself as a leader on the team, and could further grow into the role heading into next season. Will he be the first team captain since Mats Sundin?
Schenn seemed to be back on track following the Phaneuf trade, but has recently disappeared again. Regardless, he will be a Leaf next year unless Burke is blown away by a trade offer.
Mike Van Ryn
While his stint as a Maple Leaf is over, Van Ryn is hoping his NHL career is not. The defenceman is trying to bounce back from left knee surgery in October.
Giguere is signed through next season, a season in which he is expected to handle at least half the workload while mentoring Jonas Gustavsson.
Like Kulemin, the “Monster” is a restricted free agent but is expected to re-sign with Toronto. He could greatly benefit from a full off-season with goaltending guru Francois Allaire.
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Written by Ben Fisher