Report: Maple Leafs free up over $13M in cap room after placing 3 on LTIR

Navin Vaswani
Marc DesRosiers / USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs have money to spend if they want to be buyers at the trade deadline.

The club reportedly placed injured players Nathan Horton, Joffrey Lupul, and Stephane Robidas on long-term injured reserve earlier this season, which wasn't reported, according to The Athletic's James Mirtle and Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

The three haven't played a game this season, with Horton and Robidas all but officially retired. The moves provide Toronto with $13,387,834 in cap relief, according to Cap Friendly, meaning the club has a lot to work with ahead of March 1.

As Mirtle notes, though, the situation is complex due to potential overages Toronto will have to pay some of its star rookies. He writes:

The reason all these rookie bonuses are an issue is that they can’t roll into LTIR space. And any bonuses that exceed the cap (up to a maximum of $5.475 million) get rolled over into next season.

Toronto has a few pending unrestricted free agents it could trade at the deadline in order to free up some more money: Matt Hunwick, Roman Polak, and Ben Smith.

But with the club exceeding expectations and eyeing a playoff spot, it's more likely the Leafs stand pat or add to their team.