TSN’s Mark Masters has tweeted that Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Conor Timmins will play today, making his season debut for the team after he suffered a lower-body injury in a preseason game back on September 29th. Timmins could help fill some of the offensive void left by injured rearguard John Klingberg who was recently put on LTIR. Timmins offensive capabilities were on full display in the preseason when he notched six points in three games and he does have a very similar skillset to that of Klingberg, although the Maple Leafs will be hoping for a different result as Klingberg struggled early in his first season with Toronto.
Timmins benefited greatly from last year’s trade that saw him sent to the Maple Leafs by the Arizona Coyotes. In 25 games with Toronto, Timmins posted two goals and 12 assists while averaging 15 minutes of ice time per game. His puck management left a lot to be desired, but he did talk in the preseason about learning not to force plays with the puck and making better reads.
In other Atlantic Division notes:
- The Buffalo News reporter Lance Lysowski tweeted today that Buffalo Sabres forward Zach Benson skated with the Sabres’ second power-play unit and looks as though he will plan in his tenth NHL game of the season today. Sportsnet later confirmed the news meaning that Benson will see the entry-level contract he signed for three seasons kick in immediately, and it can no longer slide or extend by a year. Benson is one of four players from the 2023 NHL entry draft who is playing in the NHL at the moment, and he has been productive thus far in nine games tallying a goal and four assists.
- Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald tweeted that Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice has confirmed that star center Aleksander Barkov will return to the lineup tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. Barkov injured his knee last week against the Anaheim Ducks and missed the Panthers last two games. He took his usual spot in the lineup during this morning’s practice centering a line alongside Evan Rodrigues and Sam Reinhart. Barkov’s return will be a welcome sign for the Panthers as the 28-year-old has registered six goals and 11 assists in 16 games this season.