Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman John-Michael Liles has cleared waivers and has been assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
The 32-year-old was placed on waivers by the Leafs on Sunday and cleared Monday. He has three years remaining on a four-year deal worth a $3.875-million average annual value.
Liles' demotion clears $925,000 off the Leafs' salary cap obligations.
An Indianapolis native, Liles scored two goals and nine assists in 32 games with the Leafs in 2012-13. In 621 career NHL games with the Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche, Liles has 77 goals and 236 assists.
Liles scored a goal and added a primary assist against the Detroit Red Wings in the Leafs' final exhibition game on Saturday night.
In addition to Liles, the Leafs have also assigned forwards Trevor Smith and Troy Bodie, defenceman T.J. Brennan and Korbinian Holzer and goaltender Drew MacIntyre to the Marlies after they cleared waivers on Monday. They also 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.
The deadline to set NHL rosters is 5 pm et Monday with all teams needing to get their payrolls under the $64.3-million salary cap.
For the Leafs, their total cap obligations must be below that number including the currently-suspended David Clarkson and Frazer McLaren – who is currently nursing a broken finger.
A corresponding move is expected once rosters are finalized with McLaren expected to be placed on the long-term injured reserve. Once that move is made the Leafs will be left with only 11 active forwards on their roster and will need to recall a player from the Marlie prior to the Leafs' season opener in Montreal on Tuesday night.