Leafs dress UofT goalie as backup due to cap constraints
It's less than a week into the new season, and the Toronto Maple Leafs have already found themselves in a battle with the salary cap.
The Leafs signed University of Toronto goaltender Alex Bishop to a one-day amateur tryout, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. He'll serve as Jack Campbell's backup Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.
Toronto, which made the move after netminder Petr Mrazek suffered a groin injury Thursday in Ottawa, was only carrying one extra skater due to its cap crunch. However, that extra skater, Timothy Liljegren, is needed to play on Saturday due to an illness to defenseman Justin Holl, head coach Sheldon Keefe announced, per TSN's Mark Masters.
Mrazek's injury doesn't appear to be a long-term issue, Keefe added. So neither Mrazek, Holl, nor Auston Matthews - who was already ruled out for the first week of the season - are on long-term injured reserve. Thus, all three players still count against the cap even though they won't be active Saturday night.
Once the Leafs play one game short an NHL player - as they will Saturday - they can recall third goalie Michael Hutchinson from the AHL on an emergency basis for their next tilt Monday, even if their injury and cap situation remains the same, per TSN's Chris Johnston.
Bishop, a native of Richmond Hill, Ontario, posted a .922 save percentage in 24 games with the Varsity Blues in 2019-20. Prior to attending UofT, the 24-year-old played three seasons in the QMJHL and a year split between the OJHL and MHL.
Here's the Leafs' full projected lineup Saturday:
Liljegren, a first-round pick in 2017, has skated in 13 career NHL games, recording one assist. He's projected to take Holl's spot alongside Jake Muzzin, with whom Liljegren was paired during the team's first week of training camp.
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