Maple Leafs loan Timothy Liljegren and Jordie Benn to Marlies for conditioning stint
Photo credit:Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
By Nick Barden1 month ago
There seems to be a hint of light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to a few of the Maple Leafs’ injured players.
Both Timothy Liljegren and Jordie Benn skated with the Marlies during their practice on Tuesday. They’ll be with the AHL affiliate for the next few games as they get their conditioning back in order.
“They’ve already added to a lot of the conversation this morning in our meetings,” said Marlies head coach Greg Moore after practice on Tuesday. “Definitely going to take advantage of their knowledge and experience while they’re here.”
The Maple Leafs placed the two of Liljegren and Benn on LTIR to begin the season. Liljegren had hernia surgery and was expected to miss six weeks of game action. Benn suffered a groin injury early in Maple Leafs training camp and was said to be out a minimum of at least three weeks.
Since both players were placed on LTIR to begin the season, the earliest they can return is after 25 days and when Toronto plays ten games. With that being said, the pair can re-join the Maple Leafs on November 6th, when Toronto takes on the Carolina Hurricanes.
But for the time being, they’ll both bring a lot of experience to the Marlies blue line.
“They get here and they look, you know, they’re always in place.” Moore said when asked if Liljegren and Benn’s experience is noticeable, even when it’s conditioning. “They look very calm and poised, even under pressure. I’m sure the game feels slower to them.
“They’re reads look easier. But you can tell, you’ve seen enough hockey over time, someone who’s here for the first time, nervous coming from a lower level or the American League for the first time, versus guys who can understand what to expect and have played at the higher level.”
Under the CBA, Liljegren and Benn are able to play three games and spend six days down in the AHL with the Marlies. Toronto plays one more game at home (vs. Syracuse) on Wednesday before playing the next eight games on the road.
The expectation is that the two will get into a few games with the Marlies before coming off of LTIR with the Maple Leafs.
It’s not the only injury news of the day, though. Mikhail Abramov — who hasn’t played a game with the Marlies this season — was skating on a line with Semyon Der-Arguchintsev and Graham Slaggert at practice on Tuesday
He’s back “full-time” with the Marlies, per Moore. With him skating alongside players at practice, I expect he’ll make his season debut on Wednesday at Coca-Cola Coliseum.
When it comes to the Maple Leafs’ schedule, they have the day off today in Vegas before heading to San Jose for a game against the Sharks on Thursday night. They’ll finish off their California road trip with a back-to-back against the L.A. Kings and Anaheim Ducks on Saturday and Sunday night.
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