Let’s start with the necessary disclaimer that we would never wish an injury on anyone, and sports fandom shouldn’t involve wishing pain on others. We hope that Cody Ceci the best health and hope he takes the time to recover to his fullest.
Cody Ceci (ankle) “out for a while,” according to Kyle Dubas
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 6, 2020
Okay, now let’s switch it up to some real talk. There hasn’t been a whole lot to like about Cody Ceci in a Leafs uniform and his absence may have a positive impact on the Leafs rather than a negative one. On the surface Cody Ceci has positive numbers for CF%, GF%, and xGF%, and those largely came about after he was moved to the third pairing, was sheltered, and had his ice time reduced. The Leafs are now in the business of finding a bottom pairing replacement and a new partner to work with Rasmus Sandin.
The quick answer is the one that no one really wants to hear, and that’s going with Martin Marincin, how has shown the ability to anger Leafs fans no matter which side of the blue line he’s on. He’s certainly an option, and one the Leafs will strongly consider.
Cody Ceci out for awhile with an ankle injury. Corresponding roster move to come.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 6, 2020
The answer many of you want to hear is that we could see the recall of Timothy Liljegren, a beloved top prospect who has plenty of time playing with Sandin and under Keefe under his belt and is worth considering.
I’ll also make the case for Teemu Kivihalme, but that’s not something I really want, but rather an acknowledgement he’s been pretty good, and could be a depth option for the Leafs next season. Also, he’s a lefty, so it’s probably not happening.
The other option is that Dubas pulls the trigger on a deal for one of the many right shooting defensemen the Leafs have been rumoured to be interested in.
Depending on what “out for a while” means, the Leafs could get LTIR relief to reinvest in a player. And from the sounds of things that might also be true of Morgan Rielly, who might not be back as soon as initially expected…
Dubas makes it sound like the Leafs could have Rielly’s full salary on LTIR the rest of the season, meaning they could use that money for a deadline acquisition. Depends how he progresses from injury.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) February 6, 2020
So the Leafs might have gone from not having enough cap space to having more than they know what to do with, (but also having to replace Morgan Rielly for the regular season.)
There is also the issue of the Leafs not being able to sell Cody Ceci at the deadline, but given that a significant return was unlikely, the Leafs could benefit more from the cap relief for his contract, depending on how long he’s out.