The Maple Leafs have made some final roster adjustments going into Thursday’s season opener by cutting a handful of players, reducing the roster size to 24. The twenty-four include Nazem Kadri, who’s sidelined with an injury for the next few weeks.
Among those cut are Keith Aulie, Mike Zigomanis, Darryl Boyce, Joey Crabb, and Matt Lashoff. The latter three will have to clear waivers before being assigned to the Marlies.
This is a bit of a surprise for many fans, as Aulie looked to have a spot locked down going into camp after joining the Leafs for their late playoff push last season. Essentially he was ousted by stronger play from Gunnarsson and Gardiner, and with his two-way deal and waiver exemption it was sort of a no-brainer decision to cut him after a somewhat poor preseason. This isn’t a slight on Aulie by any means, he’s still a young defenceman and solid prospect, and there’s little doubt he’ll become a full-time NHL’er eventually.