Two defensemen for the Toronto Maple Leafs are now left sitting on the sidelines watching scrimmages and questionable for training camp as Justin Holl was the second player this week to leave practice with an injury. Something happened on Wednesday where Holl was helped off the ice by a trainer, this was the second blow to the roster as Morgan Rielly was seemingly injured on Tuesday.
Both Kristen Shilton of TSN and David Alter of The Hockey News report that Holl left practice and it wasn’t entirely clear why. He was walked to the dressing room and it’s a situation everyone will be keeping an eye on. This all comes after Rielly left a scrimmage earlier in the week and was not on the ice today with the rest of the team. Shilton said< “And there goes Morgan Rielly, walking into the weight room. So he’s present, but not skating.”
If the Maple Leafs are missing either man for any significant amount of time, this is not good news for the team. Sure, it’s probably too early to panic if you’re a Leafs’ fan, but this organization does have a history of losing defensemen at key times — Jake Muzzin last season — and this is not a year where the franchise will accept anything less than a couple of playoff rounds. Not only that, there’s a ton of chatter that Rielly’s future with the team is unclear and he needs to be playing so that GM Kyle Dubas can either make the decision to invest in him long-term or move the player before the NHL Trade Deadline.
Maple Leafs Could Be On Verge Of Mass Exodus
Many reports suggest there is a ton of pressure at this year’s camp and that the team is taking a much more aggressive approach to the season. That’s not to say said aggression has anything to do with these two players going down, but it does indicate there’s not a lot of room for mistakes or poor play.
Michael Traikos of The Toronto Sun looked at Rielly, among others, and suggested the team could be on the verge of a mass exodus of players looking for a change. Citing Zach Hyman and Frederik Andersen as two players who felt it was time to move on, Traikos wonders if the combination of the salary cap and a lack of playoff success might lead to names like Ilya Mikheyev, Jack Campbell, or William Nylander departing and looking for success elsewhere.
Traikos noted there’s a feeling on this roster like maybe the window is closing. Specifically, he suggested that Hyman left because he felt it was time to try another situation.
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