Forward Andreas Johnsson will be placed on long-term injury reserve.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 6, 2019
You don’t need to worry about the salary cap if your players are always injured
Unfortunately the injured player is Andreas Johnsson, and the fact that the Leafs put him on the long-term injury reserve means we aren’t going to be seeing him again until after Christmas.
Johnsson has been a staple of the Matthews-Nylander line, a line that has needed a bit of a shake up lately, and I guess this is how they’ll get it. I’m not going to speculate on how that role will be filled because honestly Sheldon Keefe has shown a willingness to go off completely against what we’ve seen under Mike Babcock, so I’d be curious if the Marner-Matthews-Nylander experiment continues, or if it’s time for something completely different.
Martin Marincin and Nic Petan getting recalled is standard practice at this point. I’m not sure how much I agree with it, but it’s apparently how it’s going to go down on a regular basis. There is a comfort level with Marincin being the 7D, and Petan is definitely a player worth taking a further look at as well. Petan playing with Matthews and Nylander is even something I wouldn’t object to, at least for one game.
Pontus Aberg is probably where the recalls get a bit more interesting. We haven’t seen him since he was a late training camp cut, and his 24 points in 22 games for the Marlies speaks to the fact that he’s probably too good for the AHL. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the lineup right away as the Leafs are clearly still wanting to try and find what lineup works best for Sheldon Keefe, and more and more it looks like that lineup doesn’t include Dmytro Timashov or Freddie Gauthier.
Overall, while it losing a top six winger is less than ideal, I think the forced shake up might serve the Leafs better in the long run, though a speedy recovery would be nice. Hopefully as soon as Johnsson is eligible to return (December 31st @ Minnesota), he will.