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.
So where does this leave the Leafs? With pairings that look something like this: Phaneuf-Gunnarsson, Schenn-Liles, and Franson-Gardiner. Mike Komisarek and Gardiner will likely be back and forth to the press box, but who knows?
Up front the cuts aren’t too surprising, but I’m puzzled as to why both Orr and Rosehill are still with the club. Seems to me it would make sense to keep one or the other. Rosehill is better at delivering hits, so he would be my choice. Boyce probably should have been kept around instead of having two goons on the roster. One is plenty.
What are your thoughts?