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Maple Leafs place Morgan Rielly on long-term injured reserve

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Maple Leafs guard Morgan Reilly will miss at least 10 games.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NHLI via Getty Images)
Maple Leafs guard Morgan Reilly will miss at least 10 games. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs defense body suffered another major blow on Tuesday as the club placed Morgan Reilly on long-term injured reserve. with a knee injury.

The move means Riley will miss at least 10 games and 24 match days.

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Riley appeared to be injured in the third period of Monday’s game against the New York Islanders when he collided with Kyle Palmieri. Rilli was in no hurry to get up and grabbed his left knee, but before leaving the game he made one more shift.

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Rilly’s absence is just the latest blow to the Leafs’ blue line, which is already missing Jake Mazzin (spine, out indefinitely) and T.J. Brody (oblique, out for at least four more games).

“It’s tough.” – Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe. told reporters after the game on Monday. “We don’t have enough guys anymore and Morgan is so important to our team and our backend in particular.

“But we are losing Muzzin – we have attached great importance to this. It didn’t matter much. Brody – made a big deal out of it. It didn’t matter much. You just have to keep playing because that’s the way it is.”

Veteran quarterback Mark Giordano says the Leafs will miss Reilly’s ability to play quarterback from the blue line.

“His #1 asset is his ability to move the puck, whether on defense or offense,” Giordano said. “He’s always there as one of the best [defencemen] in the league, in my opinion.”

Rilly didn’t score in 2022/23 but recorded 16 assists in 20 games, playing 23 minutes a night.

The 28-year-old signed an eight-year, $60 million contract last October. Putting him on long-term injury reserve gives the Maple Leafs some financial flexibility if they try to fill the hole in the blue line by trading.

Meanwhile, Toronto has recalled defensemen Mac Hollowell and Victor Mete from the AHL Marlies, with both players potentially playing a bigger role.

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