The Toronto Maple Leafs are riding the Jack Campbell hype train right now and so is their fan base. Campbell has been outstanding for the Leafs this season with an unbeaten record and after a shaky season from starting goaltender Frederik Andersen it has taken no time for Campbell and his positive attitude to win just about everyone over.
This has helped make Andersen and his injury concerns something of an afterthought in the minds of many fans but on Saturday the Leafs appeared to get something of a wake up call in that regard when head coach Sheldon Keefe shared what sounds like some very troubling news. Keefe was asked about the status of his top goaltender on Saturday following a morning skate from the Leafs ahead of their Saturday night matchup against the Edmonton Oilers, and he was able to provide an update. Although Keefe did not go into a great deal of detail, it sounds like Andersen's injury is more serious than was originally reported.
Keefe informed members of the media that Andersen's return was not imminent and added that a more formal update would be forthcoming in relatively short order, but admitted that the veteran goaltender had undergone some "different examinations," which would appear to indicate that a second opinion was sought out after the injury proved to be more troublesome than expected.
Of course at this stage it is impossible to predict what the long term implications of this news might be, but I would speculate that this means Andersen is headed for a trip to long term injured reserve. If the injury is serious enough that it would require surgery or a long layoff to recover from this could prove to be catastrophic for the Leafs, who are relying on a goaltender in Campbell that has never shouldered a heavy workload at the NHL level. Should Andersen be in a position where he could return in time for the playoffs however, having him and his cap hit on long term injured reserve for the foreseeable future could prove to be a blessing in disguise for the Maple Leafs, who could use that additional cap space ahead of the trade deadline.
We won't know until we get that official update from the Leafs.
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