The Maple Leafs have ruled out goaltender Frederik Andersen from the Western leg of their road trip, notes Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun. That means he will miss at least the next three games with head coach Sheldon Keefe indicating that the netminder will be re-evaluated after that. Andersen continues to deal with the same lower-body issue that sidelined him in late February and resulted in some struggles upon his return which resulted in him missing time again. That’s not an ideal spot to be in with a starting goalie.
To that end, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted in a segment on WGR 550 (audio link) that Toronto has spoken to Buffalo about Linus Ullmark. The Sabres netminder is a pending UFA and would certainly be a viable replacement if Andersen was to miss extended time. Friedman was quick to classify the talks as simply due diligence at this point and with the Maple Leafs having minimal cap space, they’d be hard-pressed to do a deal unless Andersen was to basically be out for the rest of the regular season.
Elsewhere in the East:
- While the Senators have signed two of their top prospects this week, they won’t be doing the same with Jake Sanderson. The defenseman confirmed to Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald that he will return to North Dakota for his sophomore season. The 18-year-old was the fifth-overall pick back in October and fared quite well with 15 points in 22 games while playing a big role for Team USA at the World Juniors.
- Still with Ottawa, head coach D.J. Smith indicated in his press briefing today (video link) that winger Micheal Haley is out for the rest of the season due to his groin injury. Meanwhile, while Matt Murray was activated from injured reserve on Thursday, he is still not ready to return. Colin White, who left Thursday’s game early with an upper-body injury, is listed as day-to-day.
- Despite the COVID-19 situation for the Canucks, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre that there has been “no consideration” given to shortening Vancouver’s schedule once they’re able to resume play. The league recently extended the regular season to May 11th to provide an extra buffer when Montreal was shut down for a week but given the severity of this outbreak, they may have to miss more than a week which would make playing their full schedule between their return and May 11th next to impossible.