The salary cap crunch really hit the Maple Leafs blueline hard, as they have announced on Monday that John-Michael Liles cleared waivers this morning and he was on his way to the Marlies of the AHL. According to the lines at practice this morning, it appears that T.J. Brennan was also re-assigned on roster deadline day as well.
These moves will make way for both Paul Ranger and Morgan Rielly to open the season with the big club. Rielly has a pretty nice sized entry-level deal, which made it increasingly difficult to keep a contract like Liles' around.
There is no guarantee how long Rielly will last, but he will likely get his 9-game tryout at this point. After the nine games, then it will be up to the management team to decide whether or not Rielly heads back to junior for more development, which could open the door to either Liles or Brennan, the latter being more likely, due to a lesser cap hit. Nevertheless, Brenda, who has Liles, and Wes, who has Brennan, will be without a blueliner for likely a few weeks. Not exactly the start they were looking for.