The fancy footwork that is the Leafs’ recent roster moves continued this morning following news that Milan Michalek will miss the five remaining games in the regular season with a knee injury.
Michalek, part of that big Dion Phaneuf trade with the Ottawa Senators, had appeared in 13 games for Toronto since arriving and scored a goal and five assists over that span. He’ll be back next season, with a year remaining on his current deal that carries a $4M cap hit. It’s doubtful he’s a big part of the Leafs’ future, but he’s a serviceable middle-six forward that Toronto could let walk next offseason without much regret, or they could try to move him for a minor asset. Either way, losing Michalek means very little right now as the Leafs’ tank rolls on.
To replace him, the Leafs have recalled Frederik Gauthier from the Toronto Marlies on an emergency basis. It’s a little strange that a centre would be recalled to replace a winger, but according to Leafs TV’s Paul Hendrick, Byron Froese has been shifted over to the wall and Gauthier played down the middle on the Leafs’ fourth line this morning at practice.
Gauthier made his NHL debut just a couple weeks ago, going pointless in two games before being returned to the Marlies. In 54 AHL games this year, Gauthier has six goals and 17 points.
And hey, one more thing for all you Soshnikov fans.
Nikita Soshnikov on the ice with the Leafs this morning. Unclear when he’ll return from injury. Has been out since Mar. 19.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) April 2, 2016
That kid is a joy to watch.