An Unexpected Twist In Toronto Maple Leafs Cody Ceci Injury Update

Toronto Maple Leafs - Cody Ceci (Photo by Scott Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs - Cody Ceci (Photo by Scott Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Ceci is out with an ankle injury. We provide an update and a potential twist to him missing time on the injured reserve.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have yet another player who will be forced to miss time due to injury. This time it’s defenseman Cody Ceci.

Ceci was forced to leave Wednesday night’s game against the New York Rangers in the third period with what was later disclosed to be an ankle injury.

General manager Kyle Dubas spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon and shared that the blueliner will be out “a while”.

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On a night where the Toronto Maple Leafs made their first in-season trade of the year, Ceci’s ankle wasn’t the GM’s main topic of discussion. Dubas was bombarded with questions but explained that Ceci’s ankle injury will force him to miss extended time, but he isn’t sure exactly how long he’ll be out.

Though Ceci will be evaluated in a month, it doesn’t mean that that’s when he will be ready to play.

A lengthy injury may mean that the Leafs are no longer looking to move the defenseman even though he had the highest odds to be traded.

Since Ceci is making $4.5 million on his one-year contract, having him out of the lineup gives the team some cap relief. It is also possible that if Ceci is on the injured reserve list heading into the playoffs, the Leafs can use the cap space to acquire a high priced player.

The Leafs can address their biggest need, which is that they can upgrade their blueline, ironically due to injuries by defensemen.

Morgan Rielly is in a similar situation as Ceci. Rielly, who has a $5 million AAV has been out with a fractured foot. He was originally given eight weeks but that could drag on longer.

Between Rielly and Ceci, the Toronto Maple Leafs could get $9.5 million in cap relief. That should be enough room to bring in any available player in the league.

The best part for Toronto is that they can then play their new acquisition(s) and activate the injured defensemen for the playoffs. It’s the sort of situation one would expect to see Lou Lamoriello’s architect. With Dubas at the helm, it’ll be interesting to see how much his former mentor rubbed off on him.

On the season so far, Ceci has played 54 games and scored a goal and seven assists. He has been trusted with an average ice time of 20:38 minutes. He was demoted from the first to the third pairing after the coaching change from Mike Babcock to Sheldon Keefe. It meant that Ceci’s TOI took a dip.

Ceci’s possession stats on the season have been awful. When playing in all situations, he owns a Corsi rating of 43.7, which is a miserable -11.5 percent relative to his team.

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Regardless of his Ceci’s future with the Maple Leafs, he will hopefully recover quickly and get himself back to full health.