While we await official word on how bad Wayne Simmonds is after taking a puck off the hand in Saturday’s game, some other players are making an appearance at practice ahead of tonight’s game.
Sheldon Keefe said Wayne Simmonds broke his wrist. Out six weeks.— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 8, 2021
Nick Robertson, Joe Thornton and Travis Dermott all appeared for the skills portion of morning skate. Then Thornton joined line rushes:
#Leafs lines at morning skate:— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 8, 2021
*Thornton is not yet eligible to play, as far as we know. So. This is confusing.
Thornton and Robertson were hurt two games apart and placed on IR on January 21 and 22. However, the actual injuries occurred on January 20 for Thornton and January 16 for Robertson. If those assignments to LTIR are retroactive, their earliest date they can join the roster should be February 9 for Robertson and February 13 for Thornton.
Someone is moving into that open second line spot tonight, we just don’t know who yet. The only other forward on the Taxi Squad at this time is Pierre Engvall. Of course Scott Sabourin, just signed to an NHL deal and placed on waivers yesterday, could be brought in to the lineup if he clears today. For believers in “sandpaper” over playing talent, he’s a perfect replacement for Wayne Simmonds. Nic Petan has vanished off this lineup as well.
Dermott, who was said to be day-to-day with some sort of minor injury is not in the projected lineup for tonight, but that seems to be expected as the attempt to ease in Mikko Lehtonen continues. Dermott’s appearance at practice makes it seem like he is fine, though.
Travis Dermott could be available Wednesday, but Keefe hasn't received a full update on him after this morning's sessions— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 8, 2021
We’ll update you with the word from Sheldon Keefe when we have it, and we’ll have projected lines sometime this afternoon in a preview.