Kyle Dubas began the off-season in a salary-cap straightjacket. Then, he wriggled free.
The Toronto Maple Leafs GM sent Nikita Zaitsev’s bloated long-term deal to Ottawa with Connor Brown for D-men Cody Ceci and Ben Harpur. Dubas then convinced Carolina to take Patrick Marleau’s $6.25-million cap hit. The price was a first-round pick, but Dubas had few options.
Toronto addressed its long-standing need for a top-four right-shot defenseman by acquiring Tyson Barrie from Colorado. Nazem Kadri, coming off yet another costly playoff suspension, was used to fetch Barrie. Also arriving in the deal was Alexander Kerfoot, a small but effective third-line center. With slim cap margins, Dubas signed a handful of cost-effective depth options, headlined by 36-year-old center Jason Spezza, who took a ...
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