According to multiple reports from the GM meetings on Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs have learned that Ryan O’Reilly won’t be out of action as long as many might have expected when it was announced he’d broken his finger and needed surgery. Insiders are reporting that GM Kyle Dubas made it known that the organization expects O’Reilly to return to the Maple Leafs’ lineup before the playoffs. He adds that they were fortunate because of the type of break the forward suffered to his finger.
O’Reilly was placed on the long-term injured reserve on March 6th. He underwent surgery on March 7 to stabilize the fracture and was placed on the long-term injured reserve with a timeline of four weeks before returning. This means he has to miss at least 24 days and 10 games before he can be activated. The best-case scenario is an April 1st return equating to him playing in the team’s final eight games before the playoffs begin.
O’Reilly’s run with the Maple Leafs has been short, but in the small amount of time he’s been with the team, he’s made an impact. In nine games with the Maple Leafs, O’Reilly has three goals and two assists and he was often slotted in on the team’s second line. What makes him so important is that he’s got the skill to play in the top six, but also the versatility to be a top-nine forward, offering a useable skill set. He could be a 3C if needed and given more special team responsibilities, and he offers incredible leadership and experience in all situations.
Along with Noel Acciari, O’Reilly was one of the team’s key deadline acquisitions and having him back will be important for their postseason run, one they hope will take them past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Their last playoff series win came in the first round against the Ottawa Senators, where they won in seven games.
Next: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 4-3 Loss to the Sabres
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March 14, 2023 at 12:57 pm
It’s probably better that he’s hurt now, with time to recover, than right before the playoffs.
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