The Toronto Maple Leafs have bolstered their forward group by acquiring Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets and they used a third team to get him at a quarter of his cap hit, leaving them with just over $2.8 million in LTI cap space to work with before Monday’s 3 p.m. ET NHL Trade Deadline.
Toronto Maple Leafs get: F Nick Fologino, F Stefan Noesen.
Columbus Blue Jackets get: Leafs’ 2021 first-round pick, Leafs 2022 fourth-round pick.
San Jose Sharks get: Leafs 2021 fourth-round pick
Foligno carries a $5.5 million cap hit and the Leafs did not have room to absorb the entire salary. The Jackets retained 50 percent of Foligno’s cap hit, and then the Sharks retained an additional 50 per cent, bringing Foligno’s cap charge to the Leafs at $1.375 million.
The moves bring Toronto’s effective cap space to just a few dollars shy of $2.8 million, according to Puckpedia.com.
Earlier in the week, the Leafs took traditional daily cap accumulation out of the equation when they acquired forward Riley Nash from the Blue Jackets, and placed both Nash and goaltender Frederik Andersen on long-term injured reserve.
The Leafs could use the $2.8 million and continue to add to their roster before the deadline. The only issue remains how they would be able to activate Andersen off of LTI before the end of the regular season.
If the Leafs make no moves between now and the deadline, Toronto could activate Andersen by sending down Michael Hutchinson and Alexander Barabanov to the taxi squad or Toronto Marlies and subjecting another player to waivers to make the math work.
Barabanov carries a cap hit of $925,000 and Hutchinson’s charge is $725,000, leaving an additional $1.1 million they’d need to clear in order to activate Andersen before the playoffs.
Andersen was placed on LTI retroactive to Mar. 19. If they Leafs find space for him and he’s healthy enough to return, he could do so as soon as Apr. 12.
If another player ends up with an long-term injury, Toronto could utilize that as a means to activate Andersen as well.
Foligno hits all the spot the Leafs were looking for. He’s a left winger that can play at the top or bottom six. He has seven goals and nine assists in 42 games this season.
Noesen has spent most of this season in the AHL with the San Jose Barracuda.
The bottom line: The Leafs have room to make more deals. But if they don’t, they have a more wiggle room to activate Andersen off the LTI when needed.