Joined: Jul 2019
I think next year is fine, but with the caveat that a few of these players like Sandin work out and the Leafs can count on their progression.
Right now under contact for next year we have the top 3 lines under contract for 53.614M
Lets say you like Mikheyev and keep him with a raise to 1.5M and drop Moore back to 4th line bringing total to 55.114M, add two players at around $800,000/each(the Goat, another Spezza like player etc) to fill out 4th line for new total of 56.714M. That leaves the forward unit mostly in tact and looking great.
In goal we have Anderson at 5M plus a backup at 1M for 6M total
On defense we have from this years opening D only Rielly and Sandin under contract for next year at 5.894 combined. Dermott likely gets a bridge deal on next contract (I think in 2M range allows for more than enough but lets say he has great year this season and a bridge is 3M/yr). Out of Barrie and Muzzin lets sign the RD Barrie at around 7.5M. Dermott and Sandin can both play either side and assuming Sandin is what he appears to be so far and top 4D would be,
Fill out 5-6-7 spots with players like Liljegren/Marincin/etc at 1M or less each for another 3M total bringing total for D to 19.394M.
That would bring totals to 56.714M on 12F, 19.394M on 7D and 6M on 2G for a total of 82.108M for a roster of 21 players. If cap goes to 84 or 85M we can easily get back to 23 man roster or spend more on quality of 3rd D pair if needed.