That makes the roster for today:
Maple Leafs Roster on November 4
The first five players on that list are all on LTIR or IR. Which allows the Leafs to have 23 other healthy skaters. There have been reports that Timothy Liljegren will come off of LTIR to play against Boston on Saturday. When that happens, someone has to be removed from this roster, either onto IR or to the AHL.
The NHL day begins (and ends) at 5 pm each day, so for today, all of those players may practice with the Leafs — a player must be on the Maple Leafs roster to be at a practice. For tomorrow, whatever changes will be made have to be done by 5 pm.
Jake Muzzin is one of the players on LTIR, and he was moved there from IR a few days ago. At that time, the Leafs did not absolutely need the LTIR room, but it has allowed them to recall the slightly more expensive Wayne Simmonds today. The Leafs are using about $100,000 of Muzzin’s LTIR pool. Once Liljegren returns, and someone is taken off the roster, a few hundred thousand of Muzzin’s LTIR pool will be in use.
With reports from the road trip that Muzzin saw a specialist in California, Chris Johnston is now reporting on Insider Trading that :
Back on October 17th, Jake Muzzin collided with Coyotes [forward] Clayton Keller. [Muzzin] has missed six games since then. Any word on how he’s doing or what the Leafs plans are?
Johnston: No. No clear prognosis or plan just yet for Jake Muzzin, but I’d say we’re getting a little closer to that fact. Jake Muzzin was in California to see a specialist last week looking at the head and neck area where he’s had a number of injuries. And I can tell you, there is legitimate concern about what the next hit could look like if he were to return – what his future is. And this has big cap implications for the Leafs. They’ve struggled out of the gate here and really have only been able to look at some minor moves around the depth pieces of the organization. But if there is a Jake Muzzin-sized hole in their lineup, they’ve got a need there for a defenceman and they [would] have more cap space to play with.
It’s hard to tell how uncertain Muzzin’s future is from this report, but like with the Carey Price situation, we’re left with a faintly unseemly and unsettling situation where speculation about how all that cap space could be used sounds like hope the player is hurt enough to never play again.
In the short term, with Liljegren returning, there is the option to return the still waiver exempt Victor Mete to the AHL. Another option is to send one of the excess forwards down.