The Toronto Maple Leafs placed forward Travis Boyd on waivers on Sunday.
The 27-year-old has three goals and five assists in 20 games this season. He became a staple on the fourth line as the team dealt with injuries this season. Boyd was a healthy scratch for Toronto’s last two games as the team iced a fully healthy lineup.
The Leafs are taking a calculated risk by placing Boyd on waivers. According to CapFriendly, the team has $817,557 of trade deadline cap space as of Mar. 21 and by putting him on waivers they can increase their daily cap accrual ahead of the Apr. 12 deadline.
Toronto is right up against the NHL’s $81.5 million salary cap. On Saturday, the team used an emergency loan exception to temporarily exceed the limit in order to have goaltender Michael Hutchinson dress as a backup in place of injured netminder Frederik Andersen.
Boyd last cleared waivers on Jan. 12, but has since passed the 10 games or 30 days threshold and thus the team lost the flexibility to move him up and down on the team’s taxi squad without first exposing him to the waiver wire.
Signed by Toronto to a one-year deal at the league-minimum $700,000, Boyd is ripe for the picking by another club looking for depth.
The Leafs have had trouble keeping assets through the waiver wire this season.
The New Jersey Devils claimed goaltender Aaron Dell to waivers on Jan. 18. He signed a one-year $800,000 with the Leafs in October. Dell never played a game for Toronto but did dress as a backup for one game.
On Wednesday, the Vancouver Canucks claimed forward Jimmy Vesey off waivers from the Leafs. He had five goals and two assists in 30 games with Toronto.
The Leafs signed Vesey to a one-year, $900,000 contract in October.
Toronto has rotated several forwards on the fourth line. Alexander Barabanov, Joey Anderson, Nic Petan, Nicholas Robertson, Adam Brooks and Kenny Agostino have all seen reps and would be relied upon if Boyd is claimed and the Leafs run into injury issues.