The Maple Leafs are putting Morgan Rielly on long-term injury reserve

Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Riley will miss at least 10 games.  (Photo by Von Ridley/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ defense team took another big blow on Tuesday as the club placed Morgan Riley on long-term injured reserve. with a knee injury.

The move means Rielly will miss at least 10 matches and 24 days of work.

It appeared that Riley was suffering from injury in the third half of Monday’s match against his Egyptian counterpart New York Islanders when collided Kyle Palmieri. Riley was slow to get up and caught his left knee but scored another turnaround before exiting the game.

Riley’s absence is the latest blow to the Leafs’ already missing blue streak Jake Muzin (Spine, indefinite) and TJ Brodie (slash, out of at least four other games).

“It’s tough,” said Leafs coach Sheldon Cave to reporters After Monday’s game. “We miss the players already, and Morgan is very important to our team and the rear in particular.

“But we lost Muzzin—we made a big deal of it. It wasn’t a big deal. Brody—made a lot of it. It wasn’t a big deal. I have to keep playing, because that’s the way it goes.”

Veteran Defender Mark Giordano He says the Leafs will miss Rielly’s ability to play from the back end.

“His number one resource is the ability to move the puck, whether it’s defensive or offensive,” Giordano said. “He’s always there as one of the first [defencemen] In the league on my mind.”

Rielly was held scoreless in 2022-23 but recorded 16 assists over 20 games while recording 23 minutes on the night.

The 28-year-old signed an eight-year, $60 million contract extension last October. Being placed on long-term injured reserve gives the Maple Leafs some financial flexibility if they seek to close the gap on the blue line through a trade.

Meanwhile, Toronto has called up defensemen Mack Hollowell and Victor Mitty from the AHL’s Marlies, with both players potentially in line for a bigger role.

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