In preparation for the team’s high-profile game against the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow night, the lineup for the Toronto Maple Leafs will look a bit different. Jonas Siegel of The Athletic reports that the team has activated forward Ryan Reaves off of the injured reserve while designating forward Tyler Bertuzzi as a non-roster player as he prepares for the birth of a child.
With Bertuzzi not expected to miss a significant amount of time with the birth of his child, the lineup change will be short-lived. Suffice it to say, after having acquired both forwards in the offseason as unrestricted free agents, the Maple Leafs have not gotten a particularly good return on investment in either player.
Having been out for a little over a month with a lower-body injury, Reaves has scored one goal in 21 games for Toronto so far this year and still carries a team-worst -11 rating on the year after signing a three-year, $4.05MM contract with the Maple Leafs in July. Comparatively, as the highest-paid forward beyond the ’Big Four’ in Toronto, Bertuzzi has managed only six goals in 45 games played, on pace for his lowest-goal total in his career throughout a full season.
Other Atlantic notes:
- Mike Harrington of Buffalo News Sports reports that Buffalo Sabres’ defenseman Erik Johnson will be out of the lineup both today and tomorrow. Although he would be eligible to return Saturday against the San Jose Sharks, Harrington points out that Johnson is only considered a possibility for that game, as the team may keep him out until after the All-Star break. Brought over in the offseason to shore up the right side of the team’s defense, Johnson has scored three goals for Buffalo this season while averaging the lowest total ice time of his career.
- Prior to the team’s game tonight against the Dallas Stars, the Detroit Red Wings announced they had recalled defenseman Brogan Rafferty from their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. This being his third recall of the year, Rafferty has yet to play in a game for the Red Wings although he already has two goals and 15 points for the Griffins this season.
- Not included in the team’s game tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers, Erik Cernak has returned to practice for the Tampa Bay Lightning (X Link). Cernak has been out of the lineup since January 11th with an upper-body injury but could make his return before the All-Star break. In 39 games for the Lightning this season, Cernak has managed to tally five assists while averaging a touch over 19 minutes of ice time a night.