Leafs waive Wayne Simmonds to gain a little trade deadline flexibility

Photo credit:James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Steitzer
1 year ago
Wayne Simmonds being placed on waivers is nothing new, but here we are once again as he has exceeded the number of allowed days on the NHL roster before once again requiring them.
So this is nothing new and the odds of Wayne being claimed are next to nil, but for the Leafs to have the flexibility to quickly move his cap hit to non-roster and to free up one of the 23 roster roster spots on the Leafs in the coming weeks is going to be important, and this allows the Leafs to do that. The move also allows the Leafs to activate Auston Matthews tomorrow without demoting one of the recent Marlies recalls.
Right now the Leafs just have Holmberg and Steeves as their waivers exempt options as Joseph Woll is on the Leafs as an emergency recall. Being able to swiftly demote Simmonds gives the Leafs the ability to quickly bury $900k of salary, and the combination of Holmberg, Steeves, and Simmonds represents $2.561M of instant cap relief. Couple that with the remaining LTIR relief Toronto has, they can add $2.86M in salary without requiring to send a player out.
As for Simmonds, I mentioned earlier that he’ll likely clear as he has before. I don’t think either Simmonds or the Leafs are hoping for him being claimed as Simmonds has stated his desire to be on a contending team and the Leafs find value in his tougher presence as well as leadership. A claim would likely be the only way we’d see Simmonds move however due to his 10 team no trade list.
Until 2pm ET on Wednesday, Simmonds contract will remain on the Leafs. After that, we’ll have to see what Kyle Dubas & Co. do with the cap space.

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