James O'Brien

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21:  Frederik Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs speaks with the media during a press availability on June 21, 2016 at the Encore Ballroom in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2016 NHL Award Ceremony will by held on June 22 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Report: Leafs will fly Frederik Andersen in for evaluation


This is just the Toronto Maple Leafs’ luck with goalies: they have to worry about Frederik Andersen‘s health before he’s even stopped a single puck for them.

(Check this post for more on the unfortunate moment when he was injured during Denmark’s Olympic qualifier match against Slovenia.)

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Andersen is being flown back from international competition so that the Maple Leafs’ own staff can take a look at the 26-year-old netminder. At the moment, it’s considered an upper-body injury with little additional information provided:

It’s reasonable to wonder if Andersen can play for Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The Maple Leafs took a leap of faith in handing Andersen a five-year, $25 million deal after trading for him this off-season. They must be holding their breath after this crash, then:

It’s been a heavy day of injury updates related to players possibly skipping the World Cup of Hockey, with Jeff Carter unable to play for Team Canada and David Krejci likely needing to skip representing the Czech Republic.

PHT will provide updates regarding Andersen’s condition.

It sounds like David Krejci won’t be able to play at World Cup of Hockey

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 26:  David Krejci #46 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at TD Garden on January 26, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

One major risk of holding the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in September is that the tournament intersects with players who might be healing up from previous injuries.

(The summer is a great time to get closer to 100 percent, even if it costs training camp and maybe a few regular season games to do so …)

The names of players who cannot suit up for their respective countries/continents continue to trickle in. Earlier today, word surfaced that Jeff Carter probably won’t be able to go for Canada. Now it appears that lingering hip issues will prompt David Krejci to sit this one out, leaving behind a big role for the Czech Republic to fill.

Krejci, 30, underwent hip surgery around early May. The Boston Bruins stated that both Krejci and Torey Krug were doing well recovering from their operations in mid-July.

It’s unclear if Krejci will be good to go once the regular season begins – their season begins in Columbus on Oct. 13 – but it would make little sense for the scoring center to rush back.

This post will be updated if Krejci or the Bruins make this official, but it would be surprising these reports were dismissed.

It’s Toronto Maple Leafs day at PHT

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Auston Matthews poses for a portrait after being selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)

In a lot of ways, the 2015-16 season represented more of the same for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The results were nearly identical to 2014-15, right down to finishing in the basement of the East (69 points last season, 68 the one the year before).

Indeed, Brendan Shanahan is probably correct in saying that the Maple Leafs earned the No. 1 pick “the hard way,” or at least “earned” the higher draft lottery odds that helped them land Auston Matthews.

The big question, really, is how long will fans be patient with the Maple Leafs taking baby steps in the right direction?


Naturally, the team tried to make more a leap forward in seeking Steven Stamkos and, to a less dramatic extent, Jimmy Vesey.

They fell short in those regards, but that doesn’t mean that management merely idled while hoping for improvements from in-house development.

The Maple Leafs made bold changes in net, ending the Jonathan Bernier era while betting big on Frederik Andersen and also bringing in a promising backup in Jhonas Enroth.

Beyond those big moves in net, the Maple Leafs made some minor adjustments. They handed surprising money and term to Matt Martin while taking short-term fliers on veterans Milan Michalek and Roman Polak.

On paper, this team still looks quite a few steps away from being a playoff contender, but perhaps we’ll start to see things come together?

A lot of that rides on the work of Matthews, Morgan Rielly and other young players (William Nylander, Mitch Marner) who may or may not make a lasting impact on the regular season roster.

Will the rebuilding plan start to pay dividends? PHT explores the iconic franchise on Tuesday.

Keep your head up: Hurricanes reportedly hand Raffi Torres a PTO

VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 3:  Raffi Torres #13 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks for a 3-2 victory in overtime in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, May 03, 2013 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

From opting against fighting the NHL’s 41-game suspension to seeing his season derailed by knee issues, there was the feeling that the league had seen the last of controversial forward Raffi Torres.

Perhaps not.

The Carolina Hurricanes reportedly handed the 34-year-old a PTO, according to former Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward.

It’s something the Raleigh News & Observer’s Chip Alexander also mentioned on Monday.

With Bryan Bickell added to the mix during this off-season, the Hurricanes seem interesting in adding some beef. It’s unclear if Torres is really in the sort of condition to make a mark, but Carolina’s going to at least take a look at him.

Beware, pre-season opponents and training camp teammates.

Capitals bump Todd Reirden up to associate coach

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 10:  Assistant coach Todd Reirden of the Washington Capitals talks to the power play unit during a time-out against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 10, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals announced that Todd Reirden (pictured) was promoted from assistant to associate coach on Monday.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, most directly, the team shared word that he’ll run Capitals training camp while Barry Trotz works with Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Giving Reirden a promotion makes sense, as he’s been linked to some head coaching searches. The Washington Post compiled some of his opportunities:

In the past two years, Reirden has been a serious candidate for two NHL head-coaching gigs. According to the Calgary Sun, Reirden was a finalist to coach the Flames before they settled on Glen Gulutzan, and he was considered for the New Jersey Devils’ vacancy last summer, too. Lane Lambert, another Capitals assistant, was a finalist for the Colorado Avalanche head-coaching job earlier this month, according to the Denver Post.

The Capitals have a pretty well-regarded coaching group, as many credit goaltending coach Mitch Korn with some of Braden Holtby‘s improvement since Trotz took over.

Maybe we’ll see Reirden and Lambert get head coaching gigs at some point, but for now, Trotz’s “coaching tree” stays intact.