The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to look a lot different next season, despite being expected to keep the core around. After moving on from ex-General Manager Kyle Dubas a few months ago, a new philosophy has been installed with the hiring of Brad Treliving.
With a new General Manager in place, a lot could change. So far, since Brad was hired, many fans are calling for the current crop of defensemen to be tinkered with, leading to some interesting ideas. Some ideas are valid, whether that’s through trade or signings, but there are also ideas that just shouldn’t even be considered.
There’s been a lot of smoke lately in Leaf Land about a potential buyout for defenseman T.J. Brodie. After being one of the best defensive-defenseman all season long, a rougher postseason than expected has really affected how some view the player.
The 33-year-old defenseman is a large piece of the current Maple Leafs blueline, primarily playing in a shutdown role which he’s excelled at. Going into the last season of his deal, T.J. Brodie’s cap hit for 2023-24 is $5,000,000 with a base salary of $7,500,000 and comes with a minimal no-trade clause. Given his role and versatility, moving on without a steady replacement can be a serious gamble.
The Toronto Maple Leafs should not entertain the thought of buying out defenseman T.J. Brodie, but if they did, here’s what it would look like according to Capfriendly.com’s buyout calculator.
Buying out the veteran defenseman would cost the Maple Leafs $5,000,000 and save about $2,500,000 given his $7,500,000 salary for next season. How does this help the team? Well, the Maple Leafs would completely clear T.J. Brodie’s $5,000,000 cap hit next season but would be charged $2,500,000 on the team’s cap hit for 2024-25. With the Maple Leafs already so tight against the salary cap, buyout charges can really do some harm.
With Maple Leafs stars like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander all in need of extensions, buying out T.J. Brodie doesn’t really make sense. If it did happen, it would only help the Maple Leafs for this upcoming season, limiting the team’s financial space for future seasons. If the Maple Leafs know this could be their last kick at the can with the core, then I could see why, but it’s definitely not something I’m interested in.
Obviously, this is all rumors, and given the familiarity between T.J. Brodie and Brad Treliving, many have kicked around this idea. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it just yet until some actual concrete information was made public. Now I can see a trade being possible, and I’m a lot more open to that idea, but as I said earlier, without a steady defensive replacement, that’s a dangerous move and one that could do more harm than good.
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