BREAKING: Matt Murray to LTIR; Leafs call up Simmonds, Robertson, and Mete

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

After leaving practice early on October 15th, goaltender Matt Murray was placed on LTIR. This has created some cap space for the Leafs while Murray recovers from his injury. The Leafs decided to use that cap space to increase their roster size from 20 players to 23 players by recalling Wayne Simmonds, Nick Robertson, and Victor Mete.

Victor Mete

Having Mete back with the main club brings more competition to the group while also giving Mete a chance to work more with the Leafs’ development staff. While Mete may not get into many games during his callup, having him as an option who is practicing with the team adds value to the club. At the same time, if the Leafs have a minor injury on the blue line, Mete can draw into the lineup as a capable 7th defenseman rather than having to dress with only five defensemen. If he stays with the club for more than 30 days or plays in 10 games, he will need to pass through waivers again.

Nick Robertson

Nick Robertson was a standout at training camp, and many fans were surprised when he didn’t make the opening-day roster. Being able to go to the Marlies without passing through waivers made Robertson a casualty of the cap constraints the Leafs (and many other teams) have been facing. I imagine that having Robertson up with the Leafs will result in him winning some playing time in games. Robertson brings some healthy competition to the middle 6 of the lineup. Malgin has looked good in his three games with the Leafs but has yet to shine. Could we see Robertson draw into the lineup in place of Malgin? Probably. At the same time, if you look at Pierre Engvall, he missed all of training camp as he was recovering from an injury. I could see a world where Keefe puts Robertson in his place for a game to give some rest to Engvall while he catches up to speed.

Wayne Simmonds

As for Simmonds, as many know by now, Dubas made him available to all other NHL teams when he didn’t land on the opening-day roster. Throughout this process, Dubas has been trying to do right by veteran Simmonds, constantly communicating with him to determine what Simmonds wants. I wonder if this recall extends Simmonds time in Toronto or if it boosts his trade value to other teams. Regardless of the future, having Simmonds available now will be sure to boost the competitiveness of the 4th line. I’m sure Simmonds wants to prove he should be playing on the Leafs’ fourth line while the current members of the team fight to stay in the lineup.

As Keefe said in the post-game interview following their 3-2 win over the Senators, while injuries are unfortunate, there can be positives that come from it. The Leafs being able to give 3 NHL-level players in Simmonds, Robertson, and Mete time with the big club is sure to be one of those positives.

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