The Toronto Maple Leafs were given fantastic news when it was announced that the salary cap would rise to approximately $78 to $82 million next season.
With extensions and free agents to sign, it seemed like it would be inevitable that a few veterans would be on their way out, most notably James van Riemsdyk.
While there's still no certainty of his return, it seems all the more likely that another veteran is on the outs, and not even an increased salary cap can save his job in Toronto.
We're talking about, of course, Leo Komarov.
James Mirtle of The Athletic outlines the team's apparent plans to replace Komarov once his contract expires at the end of the 2017-18 season.
"They've groomed (Kasperi) Kapanen well for a role on the PK, and he's producing half a goal a game in the AHL at age 21, so he is the Finnish heir apparent to Uncle Leo," Mirtle explained.
"Carl Grundstrom, Komarov 2.0, seems close to making the roster, too. Babcock was already in love at training camp."
Komarov is off to a horrid year offensively, with a mere 7 points in 32 games to his name. That projects to about 18 points over 82 games, well under his career average. His best season, two years ago, saw him post 36 points in 67 games, including 19 goals. Last season saw his pace dip, garnering only 32 points, but in 82 games.
He makes a shade under $3 million a season, and his 18 points won't justify that cap hit, and will certainly not justify a raise. With Kapanen and Grundstrom knocking on the door, it is clear that Komarov's days in Toronto are numbered.