After originally sitting Mitch Marner for two games as a precaution, the Leafs have now placed him on the injured reserve list due to a shoulder issue.
The Leafs confirmed on Tuesday that Mitch Marner has been placed on injured reserve. After missing two games during the weekend as a precaution, it turns out his injury is worse than originally believed.
Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe advised the media that Marner is dealing with a shoulder issue. How long he will be out for is open to debate.
As per Darren Dreger of TSN, the winger could be out of action for up to another two weeks. However, as reported by the Toronto Sun‘s Terry Koshan, Keefe believes it will be about three to four weeks.
Losing Marner for any period of time is understandably a blow for the Leafs, who only picked up one out of a possible four points without him. At the same time however, the original decision to take a cautious approach is still the correct one, especially at this stage of the season.
The 24-year-old sustained his injury during a practice drill last week, as a result of a collision with Jake Muzzin. At the time the two player appeared frustrated with each other, although this was understandable in the heat of the moment and almost expected in such a scenario.
The timing of the injury and subsequent move to IR is unfortunate for Marner, who has been in excellent form of late with 20 points in his last 17 games. This followed a slow start to the 2021-22 regular season, when he had just one assist in his first seven appearances.
While the 2015 fourth overall draft pick has his critics, it doesn’t take away his importance to the Leafs. As much as hockey is the ultimate team sport, his return to form certainly contributed towards the Leafs’ recent run of 15-2-0 prior to his injury.
Marner has produced 379 points in the same number of regular season games, since his NHL debut in the 2016-17 campaign. He is still looking to make more of an impact in the playoffs however, where he has produced 25 points in 32 appearances.
The Markham, Ontario native last played on Dec. 1, mean his move to IR can be retroactive to this date. He needs to miss at least a week from when he last played, although it will not be a factor on this occasion, given the nature of Marner’s injury.
Other Leafs news:
Marner will be joined on IR by Rasmas Sandin, who is expected to miss between two-three weeks with a knee injury. Given how serious the hit from the Winnipeg Jets’ Neal Pionk looked at the time, this is an encouraging timeline.
There was more encouraging news for the Leafs, with Tuesday’s return of Petr Mrazek. The goalie has just completed a conditioning stint with the Marlies, after dealing with a groin injury.
As per the Leafs’ official PR Twitter account, defencemen Alex Biega and Kristians Rubins have been recalled from the Marlies, along with forward Alex Steeves. Headed in the opposite direction is forward Joey Anderson.
One final note of worth, was the absence of defenceman Travis Dermott from Tuesday morning’s skate. He is dealing with a shoulder injury, but it is apparently only a minor issue.