Petter Granberg

Leafs ink Zach Hyman to a two-year, entry-level deal

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have inked forward Zach Hyman to a two-year, entry level contract the club announced on Tuesday.

Hyman was acquired by the Leafs from the Florida Panthers last week along with a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017 in exchange for Greg McKegg.

With Hyman signing, the Panthers retain the seventh round selection.

It’s not too surprising that the Leafs were able to come to terms with Hyman. As Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News notes, Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas was an agent with Uptown Sports, the agency, which currently represents Hyman.

The 23-year-old had 22 goals and 54 points in 37 games with the University of Michigan during the 2014-15 season.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hobey Baker finalist was the Panthers’ fifth round selection (123rd overall) in 2010.

The Leafs also announced the signing of defensemen Petter Granberg and Tim Erixon to one-year contracts on Tuesday.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Erixon’s deal is a one-way contract worth $600,000 while Granberg’s extension is a two-way, $600,000 deal.

Erixon dressed in 15 games with the Leafs during the 2014-15 season scoring a goal and registering a minus-5 rating while averaging 15:48 a night in ice time.

The 24-year-old started the season in Columbus appearing in 19 games for the Blue Jackets before being dealt to Chicago in December. Erixon played eight games for the Blackhawks prior to being claimed off of waivers by the Leafs in March.

Granberg appeared in seven games for the Leafs during the 2014-15 season registering a plus-1 rating while averaging 11:27 in time on ice. The 22-year-old also played in 53 AHL games with the Marlies scoring one goal and 15 points to go a long with a plus-14 rating.

He was originally the Leafs fourth-round selection (116th overall) at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Photo courtesy of Uptown Sports

Related: No GM, no problem for the Maple Leafs?

Polak (hernia) done for year as Leafs lose another veteran d-man

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The Toronto Maple Leafs lost another experienced member of the blueline on Monday, as the club announced Roman Polak will undergo season-ending hernia surgery.

Polak, 28, was in his first year in Toronto following last summer’s trade from St. Louis and appeared in 56 games for the Leafs, scoring five goals and nine points while averaging 21:05 TOI per night.

As mentioned above, Polak is just the latest Leafs d-man to be lost for the year. Over the weekend, Toronto announced that 38-year-old Stephane Robidas was set to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Both are under contract for next season; Robidas’ deal extends through 2017.

With Polak gone, the Leafs recalled Petter Granberg from the AHL Marlies. Granberg joins Dion Phaneuf, Eric Brewer, Tim Erixon, Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly on Toronto’s active roster.

Report: Clarkson to return to the Leafs’ lineup vs. Islanders

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After sitting out two games as a healthy scratch, David Clarkson is expected to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup on Thursday night.

The Leafs, who are 4-19-1 since Dec. 18 and have just one win in their last 13, visit the Islanders.

Clarkson has 10 goals and 15 points in 53 games this season to go along with a minus-11 rating.

The 30-year-old Ontario native is in the second season of a seven-year, $36.75 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $5.25 million,

Hockey insider Darren Dreger also reports defenseman Cody Franson missed Wednesday’s Leafs practice with a hip issue.

Franson also missed Leafs’ practice on Saturday, which forced the club to use an emergency recall on Petter Granberg.

The 27-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has been the subject of trade rumors as the Leafs believe they won’t be able to meet his contract demands.

Franson has six goals and 32 points in 53 games this season.

Leafs use emergency recall on Petter Granberg

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The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to snap an 11-game (0-10-1) skid tonight when they play host to the Edmonton Oilers.

They’ll likely have to do so with another injury on the blue line.

Petter Granberg was recalled by the club on an emergency basis meaning one of the six defensemen who played in last night’s 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils is likely hurt.

Korbinian Holzer, Morgan Rielly and Stephane Robidas took part in the the Leafs’ optional practice this morning, which suggests Roman Polak, Jake Gardiner or Cody Franson could be nursing an injury.

Additionally, captain Dion Phaneuf (hand) will miss is sixth straight game tonight.

Granberg, 22, has appeared in three games for the Leafs this season averaging 11:30 in ice time.

The one bright spot for Leafs fans is that Toronto is 5-0-0 in its last five meetings with Edmonton. The Leafs have also won seven of the last 10 meetings with the Oilers.

Edmonton begins a six-game, 10-day road trip tonight. The Oilers have one win in their last three and are 5-13-7 on the road this season.

Franson injury adds more questions to Leafs blue line

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Perhaps the Toronto Maple Leafs should avoid playing preseason games against the Buffalo Sabres altogether. Nothing good ever comes from said games.

For the second time in as many games the Leafs defeated the Sabres in preseason action Sunday night, but once again injuries are the hot topic in Toronto.

The Leafs lost forward David Booth (bruised foot) and defenseman Cody Franson (left leg) in the win.

Carlyle didn’t really have an update on Franson post-game, but offered up his “synopsis” to reporters.

“He went awkwardly into the boards and he fell pretty hard. It looked like he hit his knee cap or some part of the leg went underneath him into the boards first so I can’t really make a comment other than that synopsis,” said Carlyle.

As you see in the video, Franson gets a little shove from behind courtesy Sabres’ forward Torrey Mitchell, but it looks as though Franson could’ve injured his knee prior to hitting the boards when his skate gets caught near the top of the crease.

Franson and Booth’s injuries are in addition to David Clarkson (facial injury) and Henrik Tallinder (dislocated shoulder) who were sidelined on Friday night during the win in Buffalo.

It’s unclear if Tallidner would’ve actually made the club since he’s on a camp invite and without a contract, but Franson is one of the Leafs’ top four defensemen and spent last season alongside Dion Phaneuf on the top pairing on the power play.

The Leafs will likely start the season with Phaneuf, Roman Polak, Stephane Robidas, Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner on the blue line, but with Franson now in flux, it opens the door for another body at camp to get a longer look.

One of Stuart Percy, Korbinian Holzer or Petter Granberg are the likely candidates should Franson miss the start of the season.

“All three guys have different sets of skills, skill set that is a little bit different,” said Carlyle.

Percy, the Leafs first round pick (25th overall) in 2011 is coming off his first full pro season with the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies. The 6-foot-1, 193 pound Ontario native had 25 points and a plus-4 rating in 71 games.

“You’d describe him as a puck-moving defenseman, that finds people, very heady,” Carlyle said of the 21-year-old.

Granberg, 22, the Leafs fourth round selection at the 2010 NHL Draft (116th overall) played his first season in North America last year appearing in 73 games for the Marlies.

Carlyle described Granberg as a “a robust, rough and tumble type of player.”

The native of Sweden made his NHL debut last season dressing in one game for the Leafs.

Holzer meanwhile is the most experienced of the three with 24 NHL games under his belt. The Leafs fourth round selection from the 2006 draft also spent all of last season in the AHL after starting the 2012-13 season with the Leafs.

“He’s a big man that cover’s a lot of space, got a good stick, strong defensively, good size,” Carlyle said of the 26-year-old German native.

“I wouldn’t say all three players would be the fastest players on the ice, but they’re efficient,” Carlyle added. “They are unique in their own special way.”

Neither defenseman will replace Franson in the short-term, but all three could get longer looks as the injuries continue to pile up for the Leafs.

As for Tallinder, an update is expected on his shoulder Monday.