Liles's departure seemed certain after Cody Franson signed with Toronto. If he's not claimed by another NHL team, Liles could be assigned to the AHL's Toronto Marlies.
The 32-year-old has a $3.875 million salary-cap hit. If he's sent to the minors, $925,000 of that would come off the Leafs' cap under the new collective bargaining agreement.
In addition to Liles, the Leafs put forwards Trevor Smith and Troy Bodie, defenseman T.J. Brennan and Korbinian Holzer, and goaltender Drew MacIntyre on waivers with the intention of sending them to the AHL. They sent Jamie Devane, Jerry D'Amigo, Andrew MacWilliam, Josh Leivo, Spencer Abbott, David Broll, Stuart Percy and Greg McKegg to the Marlies, leaving 22 players on the roster.
Those moves make it likely that 19-year-old defenseman Morgan Rielly will be on the team to start the regular season.
''I think Morgan Rielly's very close,'' coach Randy Carlyle said. ''To say that, unequivocally, he's ready to play in the NHL is a tough question to ask and a tougher question to answer at this point. We know he's played very well for our hockey club, he's a talented young man and he's only going to get better. Those are the tough decisions that you're faced with.''
Right-winger David Clarkson's 10-game suspension, and enforcer Frazer McLaren's broken finger make things tougher. The Leafs must be under the $64.3-million salary cap by the roster deadline of 5 p.m. Monday, and Clarkson's $5.25-million hit will continue to count.
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