LEAFS SNAPSHOTS: The team takes precautions with Kase


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Earlier this week, coach Sheldon Keefe said Ondrej Kase and the team had no doubts the winger was physically or mentally affected by his injury history before arriving in Toronto.

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But Kase, who has become an excellent two-way winger, was ruled out against San Jose on Friday after a heavy workload in Wednesday’s win in Los Angeles.

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“Anytime someone like him isn’t playing it stands out more,” Keefe said of Kase who was limited to three games last season in Boston, mostly related to a concussion. “But he was here today, attending our (pre-game) meeting, lifting weights, practicing. It is less worrying in that sense. But obviously with him and what he went through, there will be a lot more caution.

Rookie Kirill Semyonov replaced Kase, while center David Kampf, who left Monday’s game with an upper-body injury, trained on Thursday and was scheduled to play against the Sharks.

DUSZAK IS GOING WELL

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More offensive defensemen may not be what the Leafs need on their depth chart right now, in a bid to strengthen the blue line later this season, but another is racking up points with the Marlies.

Joseph Duszak recorded his 13th assist on Friday, a record for the team, despite a 5-1 loss to Cleveland.

With Rasmus Sandin and now NHL graduate Timothy Liljegren, the 5-foot-9 Duszak has a lot of work to do. The 24-year-old Long Islander, who had 99 points in 101 games with NCAA Mercyhurst College before signing as a free agent with the Leafs, has 43 points in 62 AHL games.

Michael Hutchinson faced 32 shots on Friday as the Marlies lost to two for the first time in a month. They were missing one of their top scorers, forward Josh Ho-Sang, who has an illness unrelated to COVID-19.

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Duszak and AHL rookie Alex Steeves assisted on Joey Anderson’s goal.

WILL KANE BE CAPABLE?

The Sharks face an interesting appeal early next week – what to do when Evander Kane comes out of his 21-game suspension.

No one has disputed that Kane had to pay for submitting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card five weeks ago to San Jose management and the NHL. Kane, also embroiled in a few off-ice controversies, lost all pay despite failing to pay the COVID sentence.

Sharks coach Bob Boughner said a quick return from Kane was out of the question given he was not at training camp and training with the team the entire time. season.

“Not realistic,” Boughner told the Mercury News this week. “That’s why the players come to the camp. It’s a process of a few weeks where you play preseason games, inter-team games, you get body contact, you get pushed and that’s really what the next phase of training would be like. As far as I know, this has not happened (with Kane).

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If the Sharks want Kane to do a two-week fitness internship on their Barracuda’s farm team, he should be okay with it. The 30-year-old hasn’t played since May 12 and has never been to an AHL game.

His cap of US $ 7 million likely precludes a trade, but if he waived and was unclaimed, then the Sharks could demote him.

“At some point, I’ll be told what’s going on and then I’ll have to deal with it,” Boughner added on Friday. “But management took the distractions out of our room. “

The Sharks also announced on Friday that general manager Doug Wilson would take “temporary medical leave from daily activities.”

It’s not believed to be related to COVID-19 and the 64-year-old attended his Hockey Hall of Fame induction two weeks ago. But reports say he has suffered from a persistent cough since September that makes it difficult to sleep, and doctors have advised him to rest at home.

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Joe Will, in his 11th season as assistant general manager, will take care of Wilson’s duties for the time being.

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JACK AND JAMES

Defenseman Morgan Rielly has now played in front of two of the nicest goaltenders in recent Leafs history, Jack Campbell and James Reimer, the latter in goal against his former team on Friday. Rielly said what he remembered the most about Reimer, aside from maybe his 85 wins and 11 shutouts, was that ubiquitous smile.

“I used to think his cheeks would get sore at the end of the day,” Rielly told reporters after morning practice. “But that’s just the kind of person he is.”

Rielly said Reimer’s attitude was a good influence on him and the other Leafs to stay positive no matter the work climate in Toronto.

There is definitely a life after the Leafs for Reimer and a few former club goalies. Over the next few days, Reimer will become the third former Toronto scorer this season to break the 400-game mark in his NHL career. At 397 after the start on Friday, he joined Frederik Andersen (407) and Jonathan Bernier (402).

JUST IN TIME

Nick Bonino had an unusual “first” for the Sharks this week, earning a point more than 14 years after drafting him.

Taken 173rd overall in 2007, Bonino was traded to Anaheim before playing a game in the Bay Area, one of his five teams before joining San Jose this year as UFA. But an 18-game scoring drought he suffered was the second longest of his career, ending in a goal Wednesday against Ottawa.

Brad Boyes, a 2000 Leafs first-round pick, spent 15 years and six teams before returning to Toronto and had a 24-point season before retiring.

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