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Leafs' provide clarity on puzzling roster decision


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Ben Hodgson
February 10, 2024  (10:22)
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Sheldon Keefe meets with the media
Photo credit: NHL

Leaf fans were abuzz on Friday following the call up of defenseman Max Lajoie. The move seemed odd, considering the fact that the Leafs were already carrying two spare defensemen in Connor Timmins and William Lagesson. Many speculated that a trade must be in the works. There's no way that three of the Leafs' top 6 D are injured, right?

It appears as though the Leafs may indeed be down at least a couple of defenders when they visit the nation's capital for a Hockey Night in Canada matchup against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Both Jake McCabe and Mark Giordano were absent from practice on Thursday.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed that McCabe left the Dallas game feeling banged up, which is not surprising considering the late hit he took from Mason Marchment. Giordano has taken several maintenance days already this season, but Lajoie's call-up suggests that he may be in need of some extra time off. Of course, for Lajoie to draw in, there would have to be a third Leafs defenseman in need of some time off.
Lajoie has already played 4 games for the Leafs this season, and has proven he can be counted on to be a competent fill-in. He would have plenty of motivation to play well against the team that drafted him if he does in fact draw in. For the moment, however, the Leafs are maintaining that his call-up is merely precautionary.
Saturday's morning skate should give us some clarity as to who's hurt, who's healthy, and most importantly, who's playing against the Senators.
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Leafs' provide clarity on puzzling roster decision

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