Maple Leafs place struggling winger Nick Ritchie on waivers

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe talks about the reasoning behind forward Nick Ritchie being placed on waivers and how the organization's salary cap situation factored into the decision.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have put struggling winger Nick Ritchie on waivers.

Ritchie, 26, was an off-season free agent signing by Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, potentially to provide depth scoring, with the Orangeville, Ont., native coming off a career-high 15-goal season with the Boston Bruins. He played a bunch early in the season on top line with Auston Matthews, but was gradually demoted down the lineup and didn't score his first goal of the season until Dec. 7.

Along with that lone goal, he also has seven assists for eight points in 30 games.

Ritchie's cap hit for this season and next is $2.5 million. He signed a two-year deal in the off-season after spending his first six seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, who drafted him 10th overall in the first round in 2014 from the Peterborough Petes, and the Boston Bruins, who traded for him in 2020.

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