The Toronto Maple Leafs’ players had an off day on Tuesday but the team was still busy making some roster moves.
Roster Move One: Jake Muzzin Was Placed on LTIR
It appears that Jake Muzzin’s injury, which happened when he collided with Arizona’s Clayton Keller earlier this week, is more serious than head coach Sheldon Keefe indicated shortly after it happened. Today, the Maple Leafs have placed Muzzin on Long Term Injury Reserve.
The team can place Muzzin on LTIR retroactively to October 17th when the injury occurred. With that being the case, by the rules, Muzzin will be forced to miss the next 24 days and the team’s next 10 games, whichever is the longest.
That guideline would mean Muzzin could return just before the Maple Leafs’ back-to-back games at home on November 11 and 12. They face the Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks on those dates.
Note: That’s the earliest Muzzin could return. If his injury, which the Maple Leafs are saying is a neck injury, takes longer than 24 days to heal, he could be on LTIR for however long it takes.
Roster Move Two: Kyle Clifford Was Placed on IR
The team placed Kyle Clifford on Injury Reserve. The nature of his injury was undisclosed. Placing Clifford on IR enabled the Maple Leafs to recall Filip Krall as an injury replacement. When a player is placed on IR, he must miss any games played in the following seven days. That leaves Clifford ineligible to play in any of the three West Coast games this week.
Roster Move Two: Timothy Liljegren and Jordie Benn Were Sent To the AHL’s Toronto Marlies
Timothy Liljegren and Jamie Benn, both presently on LTIR, have been sent down to the Marlies on conditioning stints. While players are ineligible to return to action in the NHL while on LTIR, sending them to the AHL as part of their rehabilitation is allowed.
Players on AHL conditioning stints can remain in the AHL for six days and three games. The team can then request the player be allowed to play two additional games in the AHL.
Sending Benn and Liljegren down yesterday allowed both players a chance to get into a practice with the Marlies. The Marlies take on the Syracuse Crunch today at 4:00 pm in Toronto. If the Maple Leafs request the full extension, the five games would take them to November 4.
That date coincides with the end of the 24 days of their LTIR. Both players would be eligible to return to the NHL for back-to-back games the Maple Leafs play on November 5 and 6. On the 5th, the Maple Leafs play Boston at home. They travel to Carolina the following night.
Hazarding a guess, we believe both players will play at least three games with the Marlies.
Those games would take them through this weekend. Then Benn and Liljegren could either return to practice with the Maple Leafs or remain with the Marlies to play in Laval on November 2. That move would allow both of them to return to the Maple Leafs to get in a couple of practices with the big team before being reactivated to play in either or both of the back-to-backs that weekend.
With Murray and Muzzin both being on LTIR beyond those dates, the team would still be well under the league salary cap when both players are activated.
Roster Move Three: Mikhail Abramov Comes Off SOIR
At the same time, the Maple Leafs made the above moves they also activated prospect Mikhail Abramov from SOIR (Seasoning Opening Injury Reserve) and assigned him to the Marlies. There’s no word on when he might play for the team.