After a first round exit at the hands of the Boston Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs are left to pick up the pieces of a pretty gritty comeback, eventually losing to the Bruins in overtime of game seven.
GM Dave Nonis will have some cap space this summer, as many high-priced players such as Tim Connolly, Clarke MacArthur, Tyler Bozak, Ryan O'Byrne, Colton Orr and Matthew Lombardi all come off the books.
The Leafs, as it stands right now, have a ton of RFA's to re-sign as Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson, Carl Gunnarsson, Leo Komorov, Frazer McLaren, Mark Fraser and Joe Colborne are in need of new contracts.
Of the over $19 million in cap space, I'd expect about $13 million of that to go out to these six players, with Kadri and Franson likely seeing between $3-4 million a year, Gunnarsson around $2.5 million, and Komorov, McLaren, Fraser and Colborne all earning roughly $1 million a season on average.
That will leave the Leafs with a little over $6 million in cap space to add a top shelf defenseman, a top shelf forward, and a veteran goalie—all needs for the Leafs going forward.
With that said, the Leafs can get ahead of the game and gain more cap space by using one or both of their compliance buyouts this offseason. This buyout does not count towards the teams' cap, and essentially gets rid of the players contract off their books free of charge.
Here's a look at the Leafs four best buyout candidates.