The Toronto Maple Leafs have some big decisions ahead and it sounds like the focus in the upcoming week will be on a group of 7 players, 4 of which are expected to be moved off of the main roster within the next 7 days.
On Saturday night Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Chris Johnston revealed that both Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott are both ready to return to the Maple Leafs line up. Both players were placed on long term injured reserve (LTIR) to start the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season but both players have since recovered and will be eligible to enter the lineup this upcoming Saturday when they have missed the minimum amount of time allowed for a player designated with the LTIR status.
Johnston also pointed out that this situation will cause cap issues for the Toronto Maple Leafs who are currently already very tight against the cap, and as a result Johnston expects that new fewer than 4 players will be moved off of the main roster in an effort to make room for the returning Hyman and Dermott.
"Once Hyman and Dermott are back, the Leafs have some big decision to make," said Johnston on Sportsnet. "They are going to have to clear 4 players, potentially, off their roster to get cap compliant. We have Nic Petan and Kevin Gravel highlighted because both those guys have already cleared waivers and they can be sent right to the Marlies, but that would leave 2 of the other 5 players that you read there that would have to be moved, either through waivers, a demotion to the American Hockey League, or trade."
Now obviously you can't see which 5 players Johnston was referring to during the segment, but those players were Nick Shore, Jason Spezza, Dmytro Timashov, Justin Holl and Matt Marincin. Which of those two players ends up losing their spot on the roster remains to be seen, but it sounds like the Maple Leafs may be trying to work on a trade that would help alleviate some of that pressure.
Sportsnet's NHL insider Elliotte Friedman also commented on the situation and revealed that the Maple Leafs have been actively shopping Nic Petan around the NHL.
"The Maple Leafs have let it be known they will move him to see if there is another team that will give him more of an opportunity to play than he is receiving in Toronto."
Either way, it sounds like there are multiple changes coming to the Maple Leafs roster.