In a move that was expected when the Leafs withdrew Kasperi Kapanen from the AHL All-Star Game roster, they have officially added him back to the NHL roster.
Earlier today, it was reported that Nikita Zaitsev is nearing a return to the lineup.
Leafs Dman, Nikita Zaitsev is expected to resume skating today. Return to lineup will depend on how he feels in next day or two.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 29, 2018
Before Kapanen was called up, the Leafs had 24 players with three on IR. Now that’s 25 and three. So there is room to add only one more player without a corresponding move. If that’s going to be Zaitsev, then perhaps Morgan Rielly needs more time. If it’s Rielly who is ready, then maybe Zaitsev needs a few days.
But either way, at some point the seams on this roster will burst and someone will explode out and have to be sent back to the AHL.
And then the real trick begins when eight defencemen need to get shoehorned into six jobs. No matter how that’s done, someone won’t like it.
Nikita Soshnikov coming onto the ice for #Leafs practice. First time we've seen him at a practice since before he went on IR on Dec. 12.— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 29, 2018
Nikita Zaitsev on the ice at Leafs practice— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) January 29, 2018
First time skating with teammates since sustaining injury on Dec. 15 pic.twitter.com/FmdF2EB0j3
[much louder ripping sound]