Red Wings: 4 players to target in a trade due to flat salary cap

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Red Wings, Andreas Johnsson
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Winger- Andreas Johnsson

The Toronto Maple Leafs luckily have their core players locked up for the foreseeable future.  The Leafs will enter the offseason with 16 players under contract but only have $4.5 million in cap space to fill out their roster.

A couple of key players that are pending free agents are defencemen Tyson Barrie and Travis Dermott.  Barrie may be expendable, but I’d expect the Leafs to do everything in their power to retain Dermott.  The Leafs are loaded up front led by Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and Mitch Marner.

The teams’ young GM Kyle Dubas may elect to move a forward under contract such as Andreas Johnsson to free up cap space the organization can use elsewhere. Particularly on the backend trying to bolster their defense, something the Leafs have struggled with for years.

There is a chance the Maple Leafs will need to decide between Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen.  If it comes down to these two young forwards, I’d expect the Leafs to keep the younger Kapanen (23), as he enjoyed a better offensive season, plus he’s turned into a capable penalty-killing forward, something very critical considering the offensive driven Leafs. Kapanen recorded 13 goals and 36 points this season for Toronto. Kapanen provides the Leafs with many options.

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Johnsson is a nice young forward at 25-years old the Detroit Red Wings should look to add if their market for his services.  Johnsson scored eight goals and added 13 helpers in 43 games this past year.  Johnsson is under contract for three more seasons at a very reasonable $3.4 million per season, not bad for a third-line winger with plenty of upside.