Toronto Maple Leafs Cut Roster By 17 Players

Wayne Primeau was one of 17 players cut by the Maple Leafs on Sunday

The Toronto Maple Leafs are one step closer to having decided their opening day roster, according to James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail.

Following the team’s fifth pre-season game on Saturday, a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the Leafs announced the latest list of roster cuts. The following players will not be playing for the Maple Leafs when the season opens on October 7th:

Jussi Rynnas – AHL

Wayne Primeau – released

Ben Scrivens – AHL

Keith Aulie – AHL

Jesse Blacker – junior

Brad Ross – junior

Andrew Crescenzi – junior

Mike Brennan – AHL

Simon Gysbers – AHL

Korbinian Holzer – AHL

Juraj Mikus – AHL

Jerry D’Amigo – AHL

Brayden Irwin – AHL

Marcel Mueller – AHL

Robert Slaney – AHL

Greg Scott – AHL

The Maple Leafs now have three goalies, 17 forwards and 10 defencemen remaining.

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lukas@gacksports.com

Wayne Primeau Wants Back on the Leafs: Does He Fit In?

Wayne Primeau

35-year-old National Hockey League veteran Wayne Primeau wants to return to the National Hockey League for the 2010-2011 season, which would be his 16th in the League, according to TheFourthPeriod.com (via Toronto Sun).

“I still feel I can play and contribute to a team,” Primeau told the Sun. “Hopefully someone steps forward and gives me a chance.”

“My ultimate wish is to come back to Toronto for another season and be a veteran (presence) to help the younger guys. But it seems to be looking dimmer and dimmer as the days go on.”

With the Maple Leafs becoming a younger team each year and very unlikely to win the Stanley Cup this season, is it really fitting for a 15-year veteran of the League who has never won a Stanley Cup to return to Toronto?

No. The Maple Leafs have too many bottom-six forwards (which Primeau is) for him to fit in on the roster. If he was to play on the wing, he still wouldn’t fit in with the bottom six. Colby Armstrong, Luca Caputi, Colton Orr, Mike Brown and Fredrick Sjostrom all have more important roles with the Maple Leafs, and all add just as much grit, if not more.

At age 35, if Primeau were to return to the Maple Leafs, he would be the oldest player on the roster (current oldest player is Jean-Sebastien Giguere at age 33) and the oldest forward on the roster by seven years.

Not just that, but the signing of Primeau would also take away crucial cap space from general manager Brian Burke, who is currently trying to use that cap space, and possibly Tomas Kaberle, to fill the forward hole in the Maple Leafs lineup.

With that being said, not only would returning to Toronto be a poor career decision by Primeau, but it would also be a poor decision by Maple Leafs manager Brian Burke, who already has enough veterans on the roster.

Primeau has scored just 194 points (69 goals, 125 assists) in 774-career regular-season games. Three of those goals and five of those assists came in 54 games with the Maple Leafs in 2009-2010. He was acquired from the Calgary Flames in July of 2009 along with a 2011 second round draft pick for Anton Stralman, Colin Stuart and a 2012 seventh round draft pick.

**Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas@gacksports.com. Follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking sports scores, news and rumors.