The Leafs couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 3-2 to the smothering Dallas Stars Thursday night but that might not have been their biggest loss of the night. Winger Andreas Johnsson, who just recently returned from a foot injury that cost him 15 games, left Thursday’s contest early after colliding with teammate Kasperi Kapanen.
It’s been a trying season for Johnsson after signing a 4 year, $13.6 million contract extension this past summer. Coming off a season in which he registered 20 goals and 23 assists in 73 games, the 25 year old affectionately known as ‘Mango’ was slotted for duty in Toronto’s top six forward group to begin the year. He struggled to produce, tallying just 2 goals through the first 12 games of the season, before eventually suffering a broken bone in his foot in early December.
The outlook hasn’t gotten any brighter for Johnsson, with his most recent injury looking to be a serious one.
The injury couldn’t come at a worse time for the Leafs either. Already down a top 9 winger in Ilya Mikheyev, they will now be without another for an extended period of time. And with the trade deadline rapidly approaching, Toronto may have also lost one of their best assets for potentially upgrading their blue line for the stretch drive. A team that’s looking forward to next season could still have interest, but his value and the likelihood of him being dealt have taken a significant hit.
In an already injury plagued season, the hits keep coming for the Leafs. This particular injury could have as much impact on the Leafs ability to swing a deal before the deadline as it does on the ice.