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Maple Leafs Injury Report

It’s obliquely good news.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Seven Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty images

The Maple Leafs had some injured players coming into camp, and they keep adding more.

Original list:

  • Mikhail Abramov - injury lingering from summer training
  • Pierre Engvall - non-serious foot injury that will keep him out for most of camp
  • Timothy Liljegren - hernia surgery on the Friday before camp started
  • Joseph Woll - injury lingering from last season

Newly crumpled players from games:

  • John Tavares - oblique strain announced today, will keep him out for at least three weeks
  • Adam Gaudette - shoulder injury announced Monday, considered day-to-day

Just not there yet:

  • Jake Muzzin - hasn’t practiced due to back soreness, but is expected to join in a limited way on Wednesday

The timeline for Engvall and Liljegren indicate they may miss some of the regular season. November was mentioned in relationship to Liljegren, early October for Engvall. Three weeks for Tavares is a week into the regular season.

Liljegren’s situation is already serious enough to have him go on LTIR. There a minimum limits for LTIR: 24 calendar days and 10 NHL games, whichever is longer.

Players injured in training camp or summer training go on a special form of IR called SOIR, and two-way players who were not in the NHL at all the prior year count zero against the salary cap, but they remain on the roster. For a player like Engvall, his SOIR would provide no cap relief.

Players can be placed on LTIR in the offseason, but the Leafs have no need for the cap relief that would bring. If Tavares is placed on LTIR on opening day, it is unclear (to me) if that can be retroactive to the date of his injury or if he’d have to stay out for 24 days.

Players on IR count against the salary cap, and that’s where some of them will stay if they are only injured for a short period of time.

Clarity will come in time, but there’s no point in predicting future cap space:

I wrote that in September of 2020, and since that time the Leafs have been in LTIR space most of the time and have used over $5 million in LTIR pool to add players over the cap.