Commentary

Maple Leafs have money to spend

Maple Leafs, Panthers, Canadiens among teams with most cap space

Originally Published: March 10, 2011
By Matthew Wuest | Special to ESPN Insider
Phil Kessel Graig Abel/Getty ImagesThe Maple Leafs have enough cap room to add more talent around Phil Kessel.

At long last, Toronto Maple Leafs fans have a few things to smile about.

Not only are the Maple Leafs making an unexpected, last-ditch push for a playoff spot, but general manager Brian Burke has the club firmly positioned to make a splash on the free-agent market in the offseason.

Among teams that traditionally spend to the cap, the Maple Leafs are a clear leader in space with just $35.1 million committed to 12 players. That's $24.3 million under the current cap, more than enough room for Burke to do significant remodeling.

For example, the Maple Leafs -- who obviously could use a playmaking center to complement sniper Phil Kessel -- could throw as much as $8 million at Brad Richards and still have space under the current cap to fill out their roster with players averaging $1.8 million.