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The Maple Leafs have recalled Max Lajoie

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Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
17 days ago
The Leafs decided to bring up some defensive reinforcement from the Marlies by recalling Max Lajoie.
David Kampf was placed on injured reserve in a corresponding move to make room for the Canadian blueliner on the 23-man roster. The Leafs are now carrying nine defencemen heading into their tilt on Saturday against the Senators.
On the surface, the move does not make much sense given how many defenders they currently have available. Why would the Leafs bring up a guy who has not played over 15 minutes of ice time in his four appearances when they already have two capable options available as extras in Conor Timmins and William Lagesson (who hasn’t played since December 27th)?
Mark Giordano or Jake McCabe could be unavailable for tomorrow night given that both were absent from the outdoor practice and that Sheldon Keefe told reporters on Thursday McCabe is a bit banged up after their win against the Stars. Then again, Keefe also expressed optimism that both should be good to go and each got the day off to rest. In any case, Lajoie could be brought up as injury insurance in case things go south before puck drop.
Another possibility is that this move is the precursor to a potential trade that will see one or more blueliners moved to make way for the big additions. Rumblings that the Leafs could soon be on the verge of making a move have been picking up steam with reports linking them to Chris Tanev and a forward on the Flames. If this potential trade is close to being completed, then Lajoie now up with the team is either because he is acting as a placeholder or could be part of this swap.
Either way, this roster move is certainly going to raise some eyebrows with it being less than a month away from the trade deadline.
Lajoie has gone pointless in four NHL games so far this season. Meanwhile, he has 17 points (two goals and 15 assists) in 31 games with the Marlies.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com.

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