Murray out at least four weeks, placed on LTIR; Maple Leafs recall Kallgren from Marlies

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A big risk for the Maple Leafs to trade for Matt Murray this offseason was the goaltender’s injury history.

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The Leafs took a chance, hoping not only that Murray would stay healthy, but that he would turn his career around in the National Hockey League.

We won’t know for a while on the latter. The old one? Well, the Leafs have already realized the thin line that Murray walks trying to stay physically healthy.

In line to start against his former team, the Ottawa Senators, on Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena, Murray left morning practice minutes after the start, speaking to bench staff before stepping off the ice.

Late Saturday afternoon, Murray was placed on long-term injured reserve. The Leafs recalled Erik Kallgren from the Toronto Marlies on an emergency basis.

The Leafs said Murray is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks with an adductor injury.

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“Murray had a little discomfort in his groin,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said after the morning practice. “We decided it made sense to take him off the board, get him evaluated.”

Now Ilya Samsonov will get the ball for the foreseeable future, starting against Ottawa.

Kallgren was crushed during the Marlies’ season opener on Friday night in Rochester and left the game, but was cleared on Saturday.

There is some familiarity with Murray’s injury. Last year, Petr Mrazek couldn’t recover from his groin injuries and never managed to agree with the Leafs after signing a three-year contract, but Toronto managed to trade for the Chicago Blackhawks in the offseason.

Keefe said Murray’s problem happened while skating, adding that the goaltender was “100 per cent”. Murray was looking to make his second start with the Leafs after losing in the season opener in Montreal to the Canadiens on Wednesday.

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“Every time you talk to a goalie, even if they don’t start, the real pros live (the day) like they do, because you never know,” Keefe said of Samsonov. “You have to stay ready.”

With Ottawa last season, Murray suffered several injuries and was never able to get back on track. Rather than sign Jack Campbell to a long-term deal, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas acquired Murray from the Sens and signed Samsonov in free agency in the latest attempt to get it right in goal.

Following Senators practice in Toronto on Friday, coach DJ Smith discussed Murray’s tenure in Ottawa.

“Matt, unfortunately, while he was here, was injured all the time,” Senators coach DJ Smith said Friday.

“Don’t take anything away from him. He was just hurt all the time.

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Otherwise, the cash-strapped Leafs will use the same formation they used in the first two games of the season.

Defenseman Timothy Liljegren, who is recovering from hernia surgery, skated with the team on Saturday morning but is not expected to return, Keefe said.

The projected composition of the Leafs:

Attackers

LW-C-RW

Michael Bunting-Auston Matthews-Mitch Marner

William Nylander-John Tavares-Denis Malgin

Pierre Engvall-Alex Kerfoot-Calle Jarnkrok

Zach Aston-Reese-David Kampf-Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Defense

Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie

Jake Muzzin – Justin Holl

Mark Giordano-Rasmus Sandin

Goalkeepers

Ilya Samsonov

Erik Kalgren

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