The Leafs continue to shuffle their roster and cap to get their lineup to where it needs to be.
The Maple Leafs have placed forward Nick Robertson on long term injured reserve.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 21, 2021
In a move that could have happened sooner, but didn’t because of salary cap reason, Robertson has been put on the LTIR. With the Leafs maxing out their cap today with the recall of Joey Anderson to the Leafs and bringing Adam Brooks off their taxi squad, the move put Robertson on LTIR gives Toronto the flexibility to backfill Robertson’s salary, as well as Brooks and Anderson’s if they choose to send them down. The Leafs would have $2.271M to put towards replacing two players rather than $500-600k they had available this morning before shuffling deck chairs to replace one player.
Essentially these moves allow Toronto get both Barabanov and Lehtonen into Toronto’s lineup, and the 11F/7D approach will continue for the foreseeable future.
There is the possibility that Joe Thornton might also be added to the LTIR today, depending on the results of his MRI. If that were to occur it remains to be seen what the Leafs roster will look like, but it’s assumed the priority is to get both Barabanov and Lehtonen playing every night.
As for when Robertson and Thornton return, well… history has taught us there won’t be any shortage of Leafs injuries. Here we are five games in and down two forwards, so it’s doubtful we’ll be looking at a full lineup in 24 days time either.