The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to have a healthy team for once when hockey resumes.
The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t play a single game this season with their optimal lineup, and unless Andreas Johnsson returns unexpectedly from knee surgery, they likely will not do so this year.
As we gear up towards August, some players are still not ready to jump back on the ice due to various injuries. From the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Minnesota Wild, this is a comprehensive list of all injuries around the league up to this point.
Here is an in-depth look at the players you may NOT see on the ice by August 1 due to injuries.
NHL Injury Report
This Tampa Bay Lightning forward is probably the most noticeable name to almost be left off of training camp rosters.
Per Eliteprospects, Stamkos ended the regular season with 66 points, a noticeable dip from last season in part due to numerous games missed as a result of an injury. The Lightning will want to be cautious and not push their captain into returning too early, although another sweep would be humorous.
Of course, if he had come to the Toronto Maple Leafs as he has teased, this may not have happened.
Another home grown Canadian boy that might miss the start of the playoffs is former second overall Nolan Patrick.
Already prone to injuries before accelerating to the NHL level, the Philadelphia Flyers centre has missed the entire 2019-2020 season due to migraines.
Although his name can be deceiving, Winnipeg Jets forward Bryan Little is anything but a small impact player.
Due to his lengthy tenure with the team, he holds second place for two franchise records (points and goals) and fifth in assists. This is why his absence will be all the more gaping. In November, Little suffered a season-ending injury as a result of friendly fire during a game which resulted in a perforated eardrum.
Bringing it full circle is Toronto Maple Leafs winger Andreas Johnsson, who is expected to be out of the lineup until at least the second round.
This is a result of a knee injury suffered in February that required surgery to fix and another six months to recover from.
Prior to his season-ending injury, Johnsson recorded a career-low 21 points (which of course should be taken with a grain of salt since he was unable to finish the season).
Although the team he plays for might be called a “bunch of jerks,” the staff seem to genuinely care for their player’s safety.
Although he underwent shoulder surgery in March, head coach Rod Brind’Amour has admitted that Pesce might be able to rejoin the team, although it is a longshot; “It’s going to be a long shot, but the longer this goes the shot gets a little shorter.” Although he was listed on their return to play roster, Pesce is not a 100% certainty for Stage 4.
The first defensemen on this list might also be the first time you’ve heard his name. Dennis Gilbert, the Chicago Blackhawks third round pick in 2015, missed their training camp in order to undergo wrist surgery.
Although the Blackhawks are arguably still in their dynasty years (having won in 2010, 2013, and 2015) they have an aging core of Jonathan Toews (32) and Patrick Kane (31) which could likely use a boost of younger players.
The Blackhawks will be playing with depleted numbers as 32 year old Smith is out for the season due to a wrist injury.
The injury was more severe than a simple straining, as he was quote “a millimetre’ away from season-ending injury.” His luck did not improve and a future back injury would keep him off the Blackhawks return to play list.
Speaking of the Blackhawks aging core, the once fast on his feet Shaw will be missing out on his chance for a third Stanley Cup ring to recover from a concussion. He has not played the majority of the 2019-2020 season after suffering a concussion in November and only recorded 10 points.
Haven’t the Los Angeles Kings suffered enough? The Hockey Gods would disagree. Although it looked like forward Jeff Carter would be able to rejoin the team for their return to play initiative, the surgery required to fix a core muscle injury put him out of a job until next season.
This former Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick was expected to be part of the Minnesota Wild’s depth defense squad as they took on the Vancouver Canucks. However, after a season myriad with injuries, Pateryn was left off the Wild’s training camp roster upon suffering an upper-body injury.
Poor poor Dominik Simon just can’t seem to catch a break. He played in 64 games this season and recorded 22 points, nearly surpassing his career-high, before suffering a season-ending injury in February during a game against the San Jose Sharks.
This Pittsburgh Penguins player is on the bottom of the list as he may be able to return to the team sooner rather than later.
Similar to Patrick, this injury-prone player was kept to only 13 games during the season before suffering a core muscle injury. As a result, he was kept off the Penguin’s return to play roster but GM Jim Rutherford has publically stated that he wants want Bjugstad back in the lineup.
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