Two Leafs defensemen injured in the first period; forward taking defensive shifts

Bradley Celsie
September 28, 2022  (8:15 PM)

The Leafs appear to be down to four defensemen after twenty minutes of play in their preseason game against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.

First, we saw 35-year-old defensemen Jordie Benn leave the game early after appearing to tweak something in his leg. Benn signed a league minimum deal with the Leafs this offseason and was thought to be here for some additional defensive depth. However, with injuries to Liljigren and Muzzin, and Rasmus Sandin still being unsigned, Benn seemed like a front runner to be in the opening night lineup. We will have to wait and see how serious this injury really is.
Then, with around five minutes left in the first period, Carl Dahlstrom went down with an injury after a battle along the boards. He got up, shaking out his wrist, so it's a suspected wrist injury for him. The 27-year-old is in his second season with the Leafs organization, and is likely destined for the Toronto Marlies.
Currently, the Leafs have four defensemen playing. Morgan Rielly is partnered with Victor Mete, while Mark Giordano is playing along side TJ Brodie. Forward Calle Jarnkrok has begun taking shifts on the blueline. Thankfully, Jarnkrok is an excellent defensive forward and should be a serviceable extra defender when called upon.
***Update, Alex Kerfoot is also taking shifts on the blueline now***
This is probably music to the ears of Rasmus Sandin who has held out for more money and more opportunity. If the Leafs are all of a sudden shorthanded on the blueline, it could bring the two sides back to the negotiating table.
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