Tim Gleason’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs is over.
The team placed the defenceman on unconditional waivers Monday for the purpose of a buyout.
Gleason had two years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4 million.
The 31-year-old was acquired by the Leafs on New Year’s Day from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for John-Michael Liles. In 39 games with the Leafs, Gleason registered five points, 55 penalty minutes and a minus-14 rating. Gleason averaged 16:57 of ice-time with the Leafs, but didn’t factor into the team’s plans going forward.
Gleason has recorded 133 points and 646 penalty minutes in 655 regular season NHL games; he has five points and 32 penalty minutes in 18 career post-season games, all of which took place with the Hurricanes in the 2008-09 season.
The Leafs used their two compliance buyouts last year on Mikhail Grabovski and Mike Komisarek, so Gleason’s is a standard buyout.
General manager Dave Nonis is looking to revamp the Leafs’ back end, which struggled last season, and that process has already begun. The team sent Leafs sent Carl Gunnarsson to St. Louis Blues for Roman Polak on Saturday. The Leafs also apparently had a tentative deal in place to land Josh Gorges from the Montreal Canadiens, but Gorges reportedly blocked the trade.
Captain Dion Phaneuf, Morgan Rielly and Polak are under contract for next season; Jake Gardiner and Cody Franson become restricted free agents July 1, while Paul Ranger becomes a UFA and isn’t expected to be re-signed.
According to CapGeek, the Leafs have a current payroll of $45,352,500, which is 26th in the NHL. Nonis has said the Leafs will be busy in free agency and the league’s salary cap was just increased to $69 million for the 2014-15 season.