Here's some rough numbers on our RFA's and what kind of cap space we could have left -
Nazem Kadri - $2.5 million
Joe Colborne - $0.8 million
Cody Franson - $2.8 million
Carl Gunnarsson - $2.4 million
Mark Fraser - $1.2 million
Additional $9.7 million - Let's call it $10 million to be safe.
This would bring the Leafs to within $1.5-2 million of the salary cap (closer to $2.5 if Holzer is left with the Marlies). Here's the roster -
James VanRiemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - David Clarkson
Jay McClement - Dave Bolland - Nikolai Kulemin
Fraser McLaren - Joe Colborne - Colton Orr
Dion Phaneuf - Carl Gunnarsson
Jake Gardiner - Cody Franson
J.M. Liles - Mark Fraser
Not a bad looking team. There's enough cap space to add a veteran defenceman into the mix, and then fill the final roster spot up front out with a cheap Marlie.
With most teams really tight against the cap, most of the remaining UFA's will not be getting those outrageous UFA contracts. Here are some UFA dmen who I would hope Nonis is kicking tires on, looking for one who could come in on a short term deal in the $1.5-2 million range
Probably more likely Nonis allows the likes of Blacker, Holzer, Percy, and Rielly to fight for the final spot. But if none of those guys seem ready they could look at some of these veterans. The Leafs could even wait until camp and if none of the kids look ready they could look for that token UFA who is kicking around with no contract and get a vet on a bargain basement deal.