By John Vogl
So what are the big-money, big-market Maple Leafs doing near the bottom of the NHL's salary cap list? Giving themselves plenty of room to get to the top.
Toronto is buying out winger Mikhail Grabovski, who had four years and $21.5 million left on a five-year, $27.5 million deal he signed just last year. It is the second of two available compliance buyouts for the Leafs.
The move puts the Maple Leafs' payroll 29th in the 30-team NHL, according to CapGeek.com, ahead of only the New York Islanders. Toronto has $40 million committed to 12 players, according to CapGeek, which leaves it with about $24.3 million to spend on 11 players when free agency opens at noon Friday.
The Leafs have an uphill job of re-signing players, though. Tyler Bozak is an unrestricted free agent, while Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson and Jonathan Bernier are restricted.