After a near-perfect off-season, the Toronto Maple Leafs may have suffered their first setback just weeks before training camp.
During Denmark’s Olympic qualifier against Slovenia on Friday, Maple Leafs presumptive number one goaltender Frederik Andersen reportedly laid on the ice for several minutes before leaving the game with under five minutes left in the third period, according to multiple sources.
— The Hockey Press® (@TheHockeyPress) September 2, 2016
Andersen, acquired by Toronto from Anaheim on June 20th, immediately signed a five-year, $25-million USD contract and is expected to be a long-term fix at a position where Toronto has been sorely lacking since the departure of Ed Belfour in 2006.
Listed as an upper-body injury, the extent and severity remains unknown. The Maple Leafs released a statement saying that Andersen will be “flown back to Toronto to be examined by team officials.”
The 26-year-old Dane spent his first two NHL seasons with Anaheim, putting up a .919 save percentage and a 2.30 goals against average last season.
With what is expected to be one of the younger and more inexperienced rosters the Maple Leafs have iced in over a decade, starting the season without their number one stop-gap is certainly not ideal, especially with the questionable defence core currently assembled.
If Andersen is unable to go, the Maple Leafs will look to backup Jonas Enroth to begin their centennial season.
Enroth, brought in two weeks after Jonathan Bernier was shipped to the Ducks in July, posted a respectable .922% / 2.17 g.a.a. over 16 games as Jonathan Quick’s backup in Los angeles last season.
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