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The Toronto Maple Leafs, Babcock Face Difficult Roster Choices After Busy NHL Offseason

After another first round exit and salary cap issues, the Toronto Maple Leafs had a busy offseason reshaping their roster.

By Michael Augello, Featurd

The Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the more active teams in the offseason, trading or not bringing back veterans Patrick Marleau, Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, Connor Brown, Ron Hainsey, Tyler Ennis, Nikita Zaitsev, Igor Ozhiganov, Calle Rosen and Garret Sparks. After three consecutive first-round playoff exits and young stars Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander needing new contracts, GM Kyle Dubas needed to open up cap space and traded a first round pick to jettison the final year of Marleau’s three-year contract, took back Cody Ceci to move on from the five years remaining on Zaitsev’s deal moving on long-tenured Leafs in Gardiner (who signed with Carolina as a free agent) and dealing Kadri for Alex Kerfoot and Tyson Barrie.