According to the IIHF official website, William Nylander’s WJC tournament is over.
Nylander was the victim of a blindside hit to the head by Switzerland’s Chris Egli in Sweden’s first game of the preliminary round and hasn’t touched the ice since. Nobody has confirmed that it’s a concussion issue, but one can assume since it almost always is with these kinds of hits.
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) December 26, 2015
According to the IIHF report, Nylander will be leaving the tournament immediately and returning to Toronto, not long after Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello arrived in Helsinki to meet with Team Sweden officials and discuss Nylander. You have to imagine that Lou simply went to shut down any notion that Nylander could return later in the tournament.
Not to sound alarmist, but if Nylander is being brought back to Toronto and not being granted the opportunity to stay and watch Sweden in their Semifinals matchup against Finland and their Tuesday medal game (for gold or bronze), then the Leafs front office are likely very concerned for his health.
After this afternoon’s home game, the Toronto Marlies embark on a five-game road trip starting Friday that keeps them away until January 17th. It’ll be a while before we see Nylander playing again at Ricoh Coliseum.
Arcobello and Bibeau Get Loaned
Speaking of this afternoon’s Marlies game, the Leafs have loaned forward Mark Arcobello and goaltender Antoine Bibeau back to the Marlies ahead of the 3:00 PM puck drop.
The Maple Leafs announced Sunday that the team has loaned goaltender Antoine Bibeau and forward Mark Arcobello to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 3, 2016
Let’s not call it a demotion just yet, though. The keyword in the Leafs’ press release is ‘loaned’, suggesting this is a temporary situation.
The Leafs don’t play again until Wednesday in Anaheim, so they won’t be needing Arcobello or Bibeau over the next few days. The Marlies, on the other hand, are quite banged up. With guys like Kasperi Kapanen and William Nylander on World Juniors duty (or injured, obviously), the Marlies forward group is certainly lacking some scoring pop. Also, let’s not forget that Garret Sparks is also on the shelf. Last night, it was Rob Madore in net for the Marlies, backed up by Ray Emery.
With no indication that Nick Spaling or Byron Froese will be ready to go by Wednesday and no word on when James Reimer will be ready to play again (he will be travelling with the team), we’ll likely see Arcobello and Bibeau back with the Leafs before their date with the Ducks.