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Sheldon Keefe provides on update on the Maple Leafs injured blueliners

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Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Steitzer
8 months ago
The Leafs could certainly use some defensive help. This statement is about as evergreen as any. Jake McCabe might not have had the best start to the season but there is no doubt that if the physical defenceman gets back on track he represents a huge upgrade to the lineup. And Conor Timmins, well, he’s not the defensive defenceman that the Leafs seemingly need but having another right shooting option and one that could potentially be an affordable option for the Leafs in they want to shuffle deckchairs later on is an important player to keep tabs on as well. With that in mind here are the updates from Keefe via Mark Masters.
The optimism about McCabe skating by midweek has had some cold water thrown on it and it seems that not only has he been ruled out for Boston but seems very unlikely for Saturday against the Sabres as well. “Starting to move towards the day to day category” sounds a lot like a week away and that could leave McCabe questionable for the Lightning and Flames games early next week as well.
As for Timmins, having him get back on the ice is a huge step for him and getting him working towards being game ready is exactly what the Leafs should want here. Having him factor into a roster discussion at this point would probably make things more difficult for the Leafs at this point instead of helping, so a positive rehabilitation process speaks to the Leafs having a strong defensive option once the true grind of the season takes over.
Conor Timmins’ $1.1M AAV contract means that he would either need to be sent to the Marlies or potentially the Leafs would need to make a decision on someone with a contract over $900k AAV in order to keep him. I wouldn’t rule out the Leafs using a conditioning assignment to the Marlies as part of the process in Timmins returning as it gives them the flexibility to play him before dealing with salary cap implications.

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