The Toronto Maple Leafs and Morgan Rielly got some bad news this morning. His on-collision with New York Islanders’ Kyle Palmieri early in the third period of last night’s game ended in a knee injury. Not only did Rielly not return for the game, but the report is that he’s out for at least 10 games and 24 days. 

After the team’s medical staff did imaging today to determine the extent of his injury, Rielly and the Maple Leafs learned the bad news. He’s out.


The Maple Leafs Are Down Their Top Three Defensemen

The team is now short its top three defensemen. First, Jake Muzzin (who’s out until at least late February); second, TJ Brodie (who’s suffering from an oblique injury that isn’t responding to treatment well); and Rielly’s knee injury.

As Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe noted ”It’s tough. We’re already missing guys and Morgan is so important to our team.”

Mac Hollowell Is Excited to Have a Chance to Play

Not that anyone would wish Rielly (or others in front of him) ill, but when there’s an injury there’s always someone ready to step up. In the case of the Maple Leafs, one 24-year-old defenseman – Mac Hollowell – is excited to have a chance to play for the big club.

In an interview earlier today, Hollowell spoke about his opportunity and getting called up by Maple Leafs. Hollowell noted “It means everything to me. I’ve waited for this moment since I was a little kid.”

During the interview in the video above, Hollowell noted that he’s been waiting for this moment since he was a little kid. 

He learned about the call-up just sitting in the team meeting room. He noted that, when his Toronto Marlies’ teammates heard, they were “all pretty excited.” 

Related: How Will the Maple Leafs Survive Morgan Rielly’s Injury?

How Will Hollowell Treat His First NHL Game?

Hollowell added that “it’s a pretty good moment for me.” If he gets into an NHL game, he’ll treat it like any other game. He thinks that when he’s moving his feet moving things “are good for me so just try to do that.”

He hasn’t had a chance to speak with his family yet, but he’s sure it will be a “really good moment.” 

For himself, he’s “just happy to get in” and he “just wants to help the team win games.”

Good luck to Hollowell if he does get his NHL debut.

Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 3-2 Overtime Loss to Islanders

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