It looks as though Phil Oreskovic will make his NHL debut tomorrow night vs. Ottawa as the Leafs attempt to cope with an injury-riddled blue-line. Anton Stralman will also feature with Tomas Kaberle, Mike Van Ryn, Jonas Frogren and waiver pick-up Erik Reitz all sidelined. Reitz and Kaberle should be back in action within a week whereas Van Ryn’s season may well be over after he sustained a wince-inducing knee injury last night against the Oilers. Just when we thought we were done with one freakishly injury prone defenseman, it looks like VR will be eliciting the frustration of Carlo Colaiacovo’s tenure as a very skilled defenseman who simply cannot stay off the shelf. The timeline on Frogren isn’t yet known, but Wilson suggested after last night’s loss that “he will be a while” recovering from his lower body injury.
Check out Garrett Bauman’s “Getting To Know You” profile of Phil Oreskovic here.
â€œThe Day after Yesterdayâ€ (the prequel to â€œDay after Tomorrowâ€). These two things have a lot in common. Millions of people watched it all unfold, hoping the guy in the lead role could do the impossible and save the day (it didnâ€™t happen, the world still froze over and the Leafs still donâ€™t have a second 1st round pick). There was a serious injury that needed medical aid (Toskalaâ€™s hip/groin, and Laura Chapmanâ€™s blood poisoning). And everyone was running around frantically once they found out about the strange phenomenon (Guy 1: â€œHey look, a giant tsunami!â€ Guy 2: â€œWho cares, Andy Wozniewski was traded!â€ Guy 1: â€œYou’re right! That’s far more bizarre.â€)
Burke picks up defenseman Eric Reitz, who, in addition to being a formidable glove dropper, has been offensively productive at the AHL level (34 points in 48 games with the Aeros last season). At the NHL level, Reitz has been more of a seventh man who can add some toughness to the blue-line in the event of injury.
As the Leafs consider shutting down Vesa Toskala for the balance of the season, Martin Gerber should add some insurance until the end of the season, at which point Gerber’s contract expires. There was a time when Gerber was a premium puck-stopper. It’s easy to forget after Ward’s playoff heroics that Gerber was the one who got the Canes into the playoff position in the first place. That said, his career’s gone down the shitter since. Nonetheless, it’s a very low-risk move and speaks to Burke’s unwillingness to quit on the season under any circumstances for the fans’ sake.
Here are some quick hits on news around the league with just around 24 hours to go until the deadline: