Leafs GM Reveals 5 Postseason Injuries Truth

Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Getty Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs held their much-anticipated second end-of-season media availability on Friday, May 10, with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment CEO Keith Pelley, President Brendan Shanahan, and General Manager Brad Treliving taking the stage.

The Maple Leafs players and former head coach Sheldon Keefe did so at the start of the week with the first end-of-season availability taking place on Monday, May 6.

One of the reasons (among many others) for the Leafs’ early postseason exit this season falling 4-3 in their first-round series against the Boston Bruins was the absences at different points through that matchup of many key players within the organization.

GM Treliving spoke publicly about the injuries sustained by Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Bobby McMann, Joseph Woll, and Connor Dewar on May 10, revealing the truth about those ailments and sharing details unheard of before Friday’s press conference.

Auston Matthews Was Out With “Head Injury Issues”

The best player in the Leafs roster this season, 69-goal scorer Auston Matthews, couldn’t play nearly half of the first-round games disputed by his team, missing Games 2, 5, and 6.

“At the end of Game 2, Auston became real sick,” Treliving revealed. “Our initial thought was the way he was, as sick as he was, that there was maybe food poisoning of some description. It was a virus that stuck with him throughout Game 3.

“He suffered a hit in Game 4 where we couldn’t rule out, and we don’t know if it was a combination of the sickness, the hit–but he was presenting ‘head injury issues,’ so we pulled him, and we weren’t going to clear him until those things cleared, which they did on the morning, or the afternoon of Game 7.”

Matthews returned and started in his usual spot on the lineup in Game 7. He had 1 assist in that game, but the Leafs ultimately fell short of the victory, losing 2-1 in overtime to Boston and getting eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday, May 4.

Speaking to reporters during the May 6 media availability, Matthews didn’t reveal the full nature of his absence, simply saying “It was tough, it was really frustrating.”

Matthews is about to enter the first of a four-year extension signed with the Leafs worth $53 million across those seasons.

William Nylander Missed First Three Games With Migraines

The other superstar missing time through the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs was fellow forward William Nylander.

Treliving confirmed the rumors about Nylander’s migraines, acknowledging the forward “starting suffered severe migraines” severe “to the point where we had to look at the symptoms as possible head injury concussion symptoms.”

Nylander was coming off a 98-point season scoring 40 goals and assisting 58 more for a career-high mark in points appearing in all 82 regular-season games for the Leafs.

The forward signed a contract worth $92 million set to kick at the start of next season and spanning eight seasons.

Joseph Woll Missed Game 7 With a Sprained Back

Leafs netminder Joseph Woll couldn’t take the net on the crucial Game 7 after suffering a back sprain at the end of Game 6, Treliving revealed on Monday.

Woll didn’t start all seven games of the first-round series but he was key for Toronto to pull off a series comeback from a 1-3 deficit to a 3-3 tie ahead of Game 7. Woll posted an impeccable 2-0-0 record in the playoffs putting up an impressive .964 save percentage and allowing a meager 0.86 goals against average.

Contrary to Matthews and Nylander, who have signed long-term deals of late, Woll will become a restricted free agent at the end of next season.

Connor Dewar & Bobby McMann Out with Shoulder, MCL Injuries

The other two Leafs injured during the playoffs were Connor Dewar and Bobby McMann.

Treliving opened the part of his availability touching on injuries revealing McMann’s situation. McMann suffered an MCL sprain late in the regular season and he didn’t appear in any of the first-round series games against Boston.

According to Treliving, the Leafs “anticipated that he, at some point, if we were to get to the second round, he’d have been available.”

McCann, a 27-year-old rookie, scored 15 goals to go with 9 assists in 56 games this past regular season. He signed a two-year extension in March worth $2.7 million.

Finally, Treliving revealed that Dewar was scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery on Friday, May 10.

Dewar is a restricted free agent this summer, but Treliving’s comments implied an extension is coming Dewar’s way. “We anticipate that he’ll be back for training camp,” Treliving said. For that to happen, Dewar must be re-signed by Toronto or else he’d be a free agent and not part of Toronto’s training camp.

The Leafs traded for Dewar ahead of the March 8 trade deadline and he was available in all seven games played by the franchise against the Bruins, scoring 1 assist after posting 1 goal and 4 assists in the 17 regular-season games he spent with Boston following the trade from the Minnesota Wild.

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