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Leafs expected to place Connolly on waivers

Jan 17, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Tim Connolly Getty

It’s possible, if not likely, Tim Connolly has worn a Maple Leafs uniform for the last time. The 31-year-old wasn’t at Toronto practice this morning and it’s expected he’ll be placed on waivers.

Connolly, a center, is in the final year of his contract, with a salary of $4 million and cap hit of $4.75 million.

If he isn’t claimed for free, the Leafs could try to trade him while offering to retain part of his salary (up to 50 percent, per the new CBA) as an inducement.

Connolly had a disappointing 36 points in 70 games last season; however, he didn’t get near the amount of power-play time as he received in 2009-10 when he put up 65 points for the Sabres.

The Leafs cut ties with another veteran center yesterday when they traded Matthew Lombardi to Phoenix.

If Connolly departs as well, young forwards Nazem Kadri, 22, and Matt Frattin, 25, could find permanent spots with the big club.

For what it’s worth, the Vancouver Canucks are believed to have requested Kadri as part of a proposed trade for goalie Roberto Luongo.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Another player falling victim to his high cap hit. Connolly has ability, it was just insane to give him $5.5 mil, no matter how desperate the Leafs are for center help.

    • misterchainbluelightning - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      Desperate teams do desperate things, such as giving 8 year deals with full no trade clauses to 27 year olds who are not star players.

      • withseidelinn - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:40 PM

        Couldn’t agree more.

  2. habsman - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Another day, another Burkie mistake leaving town.

    It may take some time, but Leaf fans look like they finally have a good, low key, hockey man making decisions.

  3. meldboy - Jan 17, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Connolly was a reach by Burke last year that didn’t come close to paying off. Too many concussions under his belt to still be a productive player 5 on 5. He’s still a threat on the PP and PK, but not worth $4 million.

  4. letsgopens8771 - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    I can understand Lombardi’s trade because he was disappointing for Toronto, and to a certain extent, putting Connolly on wavers, but the Leafs would be really stupid to try and get Luongo whilst giving away Kadri, after barely giving him a chance. At least trade Connolly, in which you will get something in return for him (even if its a draft pick) as opposed to putting him on waivers. That is what the Penguins did with Mark Letestu, who isn’t doing anything now that he is in Columbus.

    As for Kadri, keep him and put him on the 2nd line. He has the speed, and Bobby Lu is NOT worth the risk.

    • withseidelinn - Jan 17, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      I agree with the fact that Kadri needs to be put in a top 6 role, but if Bozak is centering Kessel and Lupul, then there’s no other spot for him to go. I can’t see Macarthur going down to the 3rd line, and Grabovski is cemented as the #2 center. They have to make some moves. I say trade Bozak.

  5. buffalodave10 - Jan 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Heard that he tripped over the waiver wire and is now out 6-8 weeks.

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