Dermott takes another step forward in injury rehab

Looks like the kid will be back ahead of schedule!

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In case you missed it on Saturday, Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Travis Dermott left the game midway through the first period in the team’s 3-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets last night and did not return.

It appeared that Dermott was injured while unintentionally blocking a shot off his foot. He was in considerable pain afterward and did not return to the game. 

Here’s the play in question:

Turns out it wasn’t just a stinger. Leafs head coach Mike Babcock met with the assembled media after the game to offer up an update:

Well, that’s… somewhat encouraging? 

Yesterday morning Babcock met with the media yet again to offer a more formal update. This time, the news was more than encouraging. 

Check it out:

Whew. Bullet dodged. It also looks like Dermott will skate today with his teammates as they practice in Toronto:

Officially Dermott is listed as day to day, and he didn’t play last night in the Leafs’ 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres. The Leafs don’t play again until Thursday night when they take on the surging New Jersey Devils in New Jersey, if Dermott can’t go then, he’ll likely play Saturday at home in the Leafs’ final 2017-18 regular season game against the rival Montreal Canadiens

Bozak and JVR linked to Canucks in huge offseason rumour

In case you missed it, legendary Vancouver Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin dropped a bomb on the team’s fanbase announcing that they’ll be retiring from the NHL following this season. The franchise leaders in goals, assists, points and games played will walk away from the game at age 37 as potential Hall of Famers. And it’s not as if these guys still can’t play, the Canucks will be hard pressed to replace their 100 points between the two of them from this season.

Once all the praise and well wishing of the Sedins calmed down on social media, fans woke up to the reality that they team will now over $14 million in cap space to spend during this upcoming offseason’s free-agency period. It’s likely that Canucks general manager Jim Benning has his sights set on some big free-agents including New York Islanders superstar John Tavares, but one Canucks insider, Sportsnet 650’s Rick Dhaliwal, dropped a hot rumour concerning Toronto Maple Leafs centre Tyler Bozak.

Check it out:

Interesting. Here’s the thing, it’s almost a certainty that Bozak will be available come July 1st. The Leafs’ signing of Patrick Marleau last offseason has made it a near guarantee that Bozak will be leaving the team. He’s been a good player for the Leafs the past few seasons, but he’s a luxury at this point. He’s not a player that the Leafs need to have in the lineup each and every night, especially given the emergence of Nazem Kadri as a true #2 centre. 

So, yeah… Bozak will go to market. If the Canucks come calling he’d be wise to listen, as well. With Henrik retiring the Canucks have Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter and Sam Gagner down the middle. Bozak fits pretty neatly into that as either a first, second or third line centre. While the Canucks won’t be competing for a Stanley Cup anytime soon, Bozak could at least get some job security in Vancouver and likely make a good chunk of change given the team’s cap situation.

It’s not the craziest rumour out there. Especially when you consider that the Canucks have been linked to several other free-agent names out there, like Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk:

Interesting times in Vancouver. You can almost bet that this team’s moves this offseason will have a major impact on the Leafs. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.