The Toronto Maple Leafs made some big cuts to their roster on Saturday, including chopping off a few names that some feared had a legitimate chance of making the main roster to start the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season.
According to multiple reports it now appears as though the Maple Leafs have made their most significant cuts of training camp so far, including sending several NHL veterans who had a legitimate shot of making the team to the waiver wire. Toronto Maple Leafs beat reporter Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun is reporting that Maple Leafs' forwards Pontus Aberg and Tyler Gaudet as well as Maple Leafs' defensemen Ben Harpur and Jordan Schmaltz have all been placed on waivers today. Obviously the Leafs will be hoping to send all 4 men down to the American Hockey League where they would join the Toronto Marlies, however all 4 of the players mentioned here will have to clear the waiver process before they can be sent down.
Of the 4 names here if I had to pick one player that is most likely to be claimed it would have to be 26 year old forward Pontus Aberg. Although Aberg has, for the most part, never been able to truly crack an NHL roster he is coming off of a season in which he showed some true goal scoring potential. During a relatively brief stint as a member of the Anaheim Ducks last season Aberg would record 11 goals and 8 assists for a total of 19 points over just 37 games played, and you would be hard press to argue that no team in the NHL could benefit from that type of production. Now of course that was an outlier in Aberg's career, but it is not like claiming him on waivers comes with much of a risk.
These 4 were not the only players cut by the Leafs on Saturday however, as several other NHL hopefuls were also given a bit of bad news to start the day. According to Hornby the following players have all been assigned to the NHL, as their contracts do not require them to go to waivers, where they will immediately join the Marlies.
Jeremy Bracco, Adam Brooks, Rich Clune, Hudson Elynuik, Darren Archibald, Pierre Engvall