The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced several roster moves. Defenseman T.J. Brodie has been activated off of injured reserve. goaltender Joseph Woll has been recalled from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies on an emergency basis, a move necessary since Matt Murray is still dealing with a lingering ankle issue.
Additionally, forward Bobby McMann has been loaned to the Marlies, and star center Auston Matthews has been placed on injured reserve.
These are quite a few moves to sort out, but a few come as no surprise. Matthews lands on injured reserve after recent news that he would be out for three weeks with a knee sprain. Matthews has scored 53 points in 47 games this season, a rate lower than what he posted in last year’s Hart Trophy-winning campaign, and Matthews’ injury-related absence was in part with the purpose of getting him closer to 100% health for the rest of the season.
Matthews’ placement on injured reserve, combined with McMann being sent to the Marlies, clears a roster spot for GM Kyle Dubas to work with. McMann heads back to the Marlies after an eight-game run with the Maple Leafs. The undrafted former Colgate Raider has had a strong AHL year so far, scoring 15 points in 17 games, although the NHL scoresheet has eluded him.
He’ll likely be an option for another recall later in the year should injuries require the team to dip into its reserve of forwards at the AHL level once again.
Woll, 24, has been recalled on an emergency basis, likely with the idea of him backing up starting netminder Ilya Samsonov. Woll is a 2016 third-round pick who has posted extremely strong numbers in the AHL this season since returning from injury. In 13 games played, Woll has gone 12-1 with a .928 save percentage.
For their final move of this series of transactions, the Maple Leafs have activated veteran blueliner Brodie off of injured reserve. Brodie has been out since the Maple Leafs’ January 7th contest against the Detroit Red Wings. His addition back to the roster gives the team eight defensemen on their active roster, so it’s possible another move could be coming if the team is looking to carry just seven, which is the traditional amount teams like to keep on their roster.
With Brodie back into the mix, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe now has his blueline nearly back to full health after sustaining some significant injury issues over the course of this season. The status of veteran Jake Muzzin is still, of course, unclear, but with Brodie back into the fold, the team’s blueline is significantly stronger.
While the team may not be able to catch the league-leading Boston Bruins without an extremely hot run of results, adding Brodie back into the mix should help them solidify their second-place spot in the Atlantic Division.