Toronto Maple Leafs Players Unlikely to Return in 2014-15

James Onusko@@jonuskoContributor IIIApril 8, 2014

Toronto Maple Leafs Players Unlikely to Return in 2014-15

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    Elise Amendola

    With the playoffs looking out of reach now, Toronto Maple Leafs fans can begin to focus on the summer.

    There is a good chance that a handful of Leafs will not be returning for the 2014-15 season given their contract status, the omnipresent salary cap and their individual play this season.

    This is not unique to the Leafs by any means as players being wedded to one organization throughout their careers is an anomaly in today's game.

    In no particular order, here are the Leafs unlikely to be skating in The Big Smoke next season.

    Honorable mentions go to Jay McClement and Paul Ranger.


    All stats courtesy of unless otherwise noted and are current as of April 7.

    Contract information via CapGeek unless otherwise noted.

David Bolland, Centre

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    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    While it would not be shocking to see David Bolland return in 2014-15, his unfortunate injury, coupled with the Leafs' disappointing team performance, doesn't seem to bode well for a future in Toronto.

    Bolland's contract ends this spring, and he is likely to receive a number of lucrative offers if he fully recovers from his Achilles injury.

    When healthy, Bolland was a key contributor for the Leafs early in the season. The organization should have some significant cap room to work with, so if Bolland is willing to take less pay to stay in Toronto, he may return.

    A change in management and/or the coaching situation could also impact Bolland's return.


    Odds to Return: 40/60 

Nikolai Kulemin, Winger

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    Matt Slocum

    Nikolai Kulemin is often a forgotten man in Toronto. With 20 points this season and a minus-four rating, he hasn't done a lot to distinguish himself this season.

    However, the Russian forward gives a solid effort every night, and he plays a 200-foot game. The same cannot be said for all Toronto forwards.

    Kulemin has enough talent to fill in on the second line on occasion, however, he's best suited to playing a regular shift on the third line. 

    It will be interesting to see what the Leafs decide to do with Kulemin, who can walk away from the Leafs this summer if no contract is offered.


    Odds to Return: 20/80 

Mason Raymond, Winger

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    Paul Sancya

    Calgary native Mason Raymond has been a steal for the Leafs this year. Earning just $1 million this season has made him one of the most cost-effective players on the roster.

    Raymond has played on all four lines at some point this season, and his versatility has been outstanding. The issue will be whether or not general manager Dave Nonis offers Raymond a contract prior to the free-agency period.

    With his solid advanced stats numbers, via, especially relative to his teammates, and his 45 points, he would fit well in any number of organizations.


    Odds to Return: 40/60 

James Reimer, Goaltender

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    Graig Abel/Getty Images

    James Reimer has played some outstanding hockey for the Leafs during his tenure in Toronto. His game has improved over time, and he deserves an opportunity to be an NHL starter.

    It seems clear that it won't happen in Toronto. Jonathan Bernier's emergence has been well documented. He's the No. 1 starter for the foreseeable future.

    Reimer could go to any number of destinations, with the Winnipeg Jets being a distinct possibility given his ties to his home province and their less than outstanding netminding.

    Reimer is entering his prime years and should provide an organization a number of solid seasons between the pipes.


    Odds to Return: 10/90 

Cody Franson, Defenseman

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    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    At 6'5" and well over 200 pounds, Cody Franson is the mobile defender with size that all NHL teams covet. With 33 points this season, the Salmon Arm, British Columbia native leads the Leafs in scoring among defensemen.

    But with a minus-18 rating and ongoing inconsistencies, particularly in the defensive zone, Franson has not become a complete defender to push for top-pairing minutes night after night.

    Franson is a restricted free agent so the Leafs have some control over what happens with him. There is a lot of upside here, and he doesn't turn 27 until August. 

    The ongoing progress of both Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner may play a factor in the Leafs retaining Franson moving forward. All three defenders are offensive-minded players.

    With the Leafs' acute need to get better defensively, there may not be room for three similar defenders.


    Odds to Return: 40/60