Add another injury to the long list of injuries the Toronto Maple Leafs are dealing with these days. The latest news is that forward Andreas Johnsson is reportedly out eight weeks with a knee injury.
Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters today including Chris Johnston of Sportsnet that Andreas Johnsson will require surgery on his injured knee that he suffered Thursday night.
Johnsson joins Ilya Mikheyev, Cody Ceci and Morgan Rielly on the list of Toronto’s wounded. A team that was decimated on defense is now in trouble at the forward spot and it questions who, if anyone, the Maple Leafs may be looking to deal before the NHL Trade Deadline in 10 days.
This Changes Toronto’s Plans
Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen were among the most often mentioned names in the trade rumor mill from Toronto but this injury will mean Johnsson isn’t going anywhere. It’s not likely a team will trade for him if he’s missing this much time and there’s no guarantee as to how he’ll play when he returns.
Some will question where the Maple Leafs priority will now be at the deadline. Do they grab another depth forward? Or, do they continue to go after defense? Or, maybe they do both and become the most active team between now and February 24.
The silver lining here is that Johnsson can now be placed on long-term injured reserve through the end of the season, which gives the Maple Leafs and additional $3.4 million in cap space to grab another forward at the deadline, likely a rental. If Johnsson can return for the playoffs, it won’t hurt the Maple Leafs cap situation and they’ll be loaded up front.
Johnsson will end the regular season with just eight goals and 21 points in 43 games. This isn’t what the Maple Leafs were expecting when they signed him over the summer.
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