The @MapleLeafs announced today that defenceman Travis Dermott will undergo shoulder surgery on Friday, May 10. He is expected to miss a minimum of six months.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) May 9, 2019
So that ain’t great. I will also point out the word MINIMUM in there. So November 10th would be the early return.
You may have noticed we put together a little year in review on Dermott this morning
A big chunk of that was talking about Dermott is ready to take the next step in his career and move up into the Leafs top four defense group. It also mentioned that Dermott was in a need of a new defense partner as his most frequent partners of Ozhiganov and Gardiner were departing. Well, given that Dermott isn’t going to get a training camp with the Leafs this fall, it seems that the safe bet is to pencil him in for the third pairing when he does return, and that leaves Rielly, Muzzin, and probably Nikita Zaitsev by default as the top three defensemen on the Leafs at the moment.
I guess the silver lining to all of this is that the Leafs do have bottom pairing replacement options. Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman are extremely affordable depth options. And if Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren earn a shot to prove their worth in the NHL as a result of this injury, that could be nice too.
Back in reality, losing Dermott is bad, really bad. It puts a bit more of a sense of urgency on finding a top four defenseman when the Leafs have zero dollars available to commit to such a task. Dermott being on an entry level deal pretty much guarantees that whoever is replacing him at best costs around the same cap hit. There’s also the fact that this delays the development of a promising young defenseman who is poised for bigger things.
So in the two weeks since #Leafs locker clean out, Zach Hyman had surgery to repair his ACL (six month recovery), Auston Matthews had minor surgery, John Tavares has injured his oblique (indeterminate recovery) and Travis Dermott is having shoulder surgery (six month recovery)
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) May 9, 2019
This sums up the Leafs situation at the moment. Hyman and Dermott are out long term. The Matthews surgery probably isn’t going to be an issue by next season, and we’re still left wondering about what’s up with Tavares. While most oblique injuries have a recovery period of a few weeks, you can’t help but think about the worse scenarios at the moment.