According to Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, defenseman Jake Muzzin is expected to return for Toronto tomorrow night against the Florida Panthers, reports TSN’s Mark Masters. Because goaltender Petr Mrazek has been moved to LTIR after his groin injury last week, Toronto will be able to activate Muzzin without having to make any corresponding salary cap moves. Muzzin went down with an injury on February 21st and has not played since.
In the meantime, Toronto acquired defenseman Mark Giordano from the Seattle Kraken. Adding Muzzin back into the fold along with Giordano would surely give Toronto a very deep defense core and allow Keefe to control Muzzin’s minutes as he works his way back into the lineup.
- Also on the Maple Leafs, forward William Nylander will not play tonight in Tampa due to illness, as Toronto takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning, reports David Alter of The Leafs Nation. Drawing in for Nylander is Kyle Clifford, who has played in just 17 games this year between Toronto and the St. Louis Blues, having been shuffled between the NHL, AHL, and the Taxi Squad for most of the year. In these times, seeing Nylander scratched due to illness raises concerns of COVID-19, however the illness appears to be unrelated and there have been no reports of Nylander being placed into protocol.
- After playing yesterday for the first time since February 20th due to injury, Andrew Ladd is out of the lineup tonight for the Arizona Coyotes as they take on the Blues, the team announced. Arizona has listed Ladd as day-to-day, a potentially encouraging sign that the veteran forward will not be out long-term once again. In 43 games this year, Ladd has six goals and three assists, but regardless of injury, the former captain has been a tremendous asset to help mentor many of the young Coyotes players.