The Maple Leafs have freed up a contract slot by moving Marlies defenseman Alex Biega to the Nashville Predators for future considerations, while Rasmus Sandin is expected to be sidelined for several weeks due to injury.
Biega to Nashville.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 21, 2022
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 21, 2022
Biega filled in for two games with the big club in January, averaging just 13:07 per game and finishing with a minus-two in a 6-3 loss to the Rangers on Jan. 17.
Most recently, the right-handed Biega had been playing on the Marlies’ top pair with 26-year-old Finnish defenseman Teemu Kivihalme, who was largely absent due to injury earlier this season but was called up and practiced with the big club this morning.
“Biega and Kivi have been playing against top lines now for a while as a shutdown pair,” said Marlies head coach Greg Moore after yesterday’s 4-2 win over Chicago. “They [were] doing a very good job… They have been a big catalyst for us.”
It would’ve required a string of injuries amounting to a disaster if Biega were to factor into the big club’s plans for the rest of the season, so the Leafs have freed up a contract slot here, shaving them down to 48 out of a limit of 50 Standard Player Contracts.
This is notable knowing there has been buzz about the Leafs possibly handing prospects Matthew Knies and Nick Abruzzese NHL contracts after the conclusion of the NCAA season and possibly taking a look at one or both in the NHL lineup in April.
We’ll also wait and see if the Leafs have anything else in store before 3 p.m. today. Ondrej Kase’s head injury in Nashville, combined with Sandin’s injury, may give the Leafs some flexibility for an additional depth add depending on whether the Leafs want to go the Long Term Injured Reserve route with either of them. The plan as of today appears to be to bring Jake Muzzin back onto the active roster within the next few weeks.
We’ll also find out at 2 p.m. EST if Kyle Clifford and Petr Mrazek successfully cleared waivers. If Mrazek clears, the Leafs can bury $1.125 million of his contract but would retain $2.68 million in dead cap space. In the off-chance he’s claimed, all $3.8 million of his salary would come off the books.
2 p.m. EST waiver updates:
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 21, 2022
Sateri claimed on waivers. Arizona. So much for that plan for Leafs.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) March 21, 2022
3 p.m. EST deadline update:
Dubas confirms he is done. #Leafs
— Terry Koshan 🇺🇦 (@koshtorontosun) March 21, 2022