Andreas Johnsson traded to Devils as Maple Leafs dump salary

The Maple Leafs have said goodbye to Andreas Johnsson and his $ 3.4 million cap hit, and in return they offer a pretty good prospect. (Getty)
And there is the paycheck.
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Saturday that they had traded Andreas Johnsson and his annual income of $ 3.4 million to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward prospect Joey Anderson.
Johnsson struggled through an injury-ridden 2019-20 season, scoring eight goals and making 13 assists in 43 games. It was a sizeable step back from his 20-goal 43-point season, which he used as a stepping stone to negotiate his current four-year contract worth nearly $ 14 million.
The fourth year striker appeared in a playoff game, replacing Nick Robertson in Toronto's Game 5 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
This really is nothing more than an effort to cut salaries for the Leafs who were pushed past the cap after spending a total of $ 6.5 million on acquisitions by T.J. Brodie and Wayne Simmonds on their first day of vacancy.
The Leafs take back a reasonably decent perspective in Anderson, however. It's likely that Anderson will spend most of this coming season with the Toronto Marlies, but the 22-year-old has split time between the Devils and their Binghamton farm system in each of his two professional seasons and could be battling for a spot in the lower six of the leafs.
Between Johnsson and Kasperi Kapanen, who were sold to the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after the Leafs left the postseason, the Leafs opened a cap space of almost $ 7 million this off-season. While Ilya Mikheyev and Travis Dermott have yet to negotiate new deals, the decision to cut ties with two prominent members of the middle six should leave enough room (if little) to ensure the Leafs stick to the cap for the coming season although it certainly does, a deal may still be in the works.
On the surface, this is obviously not a trade that will make them better in the short term. And it's hard to say that the Leafs are clearly better now than they were last season, after losing two key members of their forwards group, or that they achieved their goal of becoming a tougher team to play against.
What they do is keep their gist on the beat and do another run with the best cast they can put together under the weight of the salary cap.
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