The Toronto Maple Leafs surprised many by sending Rasmus Sandin back to the minor leagues recently, but the decision might not have been only because of the youngster’s development as they said. Travis Dermott, who is working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery, shed his no-contact sweater at practice and is getting closer to a return.
Dermott, 22, was a big part of the Maple Leafs’ defense last season before his shoulder injury, logging more than 17 minutes a night and posting excellent possession numbers. The second-round pick plays an extremely aggressive style that can quickly disrupt rushes but also leaves him out of position at times. If he can learn to pick his spots a little more selectively, there’s a good chance the Maple Leafs have a future top-four option on their hands.
- Another day, another injury up front for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jared McCann missed practice today and has been listed as day-to-day, leaving the team without another one of their key forwards for the time being. Amazingly, the Penguins have scored 14 goals over their last two games even with their banged up forward group, but have the high-flying Colorado Avalanche coming into town tomorrow.
- It’s not an injury keeping Kevin Fiala out of the lineup, but he’ll be out all the same when the Minnesota Wild take on Toronto tonight. The team will make Fiala a healthy scratch just a few months after acquiring him from the Nashville Predators and touting him as a core member of their team going forward. The Wild have now scratched Fiala, Ryan Donato and Victor Rask this season, the three main acquisitions last season by former GM Paul Fenton.