Insider Reveals Injury Newly Signed Maple Leafs Defensemen is Dealing With

Insider Reveals Injury to Newly Signed Maple Leafs Defenseman


The Toronto Maple Leafs signed defenseman Jani Hakanpaa to a two-year contract reportedly worth $1.5 million per season. Although multiple insiders confirmed the signing, the Maple Leafs have yet to make an official announcement. According to NHL insider Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, the delay is due to Hakanpaa dealing with a serious injury.

“I was told his knee was bone on bone. I asked the Leafs about this. They said their doctors cleared him to be signed. We’ll find out in the fall – or later – whether he can play again,” Simmons reported on X.

Hakanpaa suffered a knee injury last season, with his last game being on March 16. Despite this, Toronto quickly moved to sign him on July 1 when free agency opened.


Concerns Over Hakanpaa’s Future in the NHL


After Hakanpaa agreed to a two-year deal with the Maple Leafs, Simmons expressed surprise in his Toronto Sun column, noting that some NHL teams believed Hakanpaa might never play again.

“It wasn’t that way with Hakanpaa, who signed with Toronto on Canada Day, as well. A year ago, maybe two years ago, Hakanpaa would have factored rather nicely on the Leafs defense. He’s a giant of a man at 6-foot-7, popular in the room, that great hockey vernacular, and a penalty-killer beyond compare. But one with a knee so bad that some think — although the Leafs disagree — that he may never play again,” Simmons wrote on July 1.

“The Leafs signed him to play but many doubt he will… If he plays again, plays at all for the Leafs, it will shock those who were around in recent seasons,” Simmons added.

Last season, Hakanpaa played 64 games with the Stars, recording 2 goals and 10 assists for 12 points.

Maple Leafs GM Comments on Hakanpaa Signing


Despite the signing not being official, Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving spoke about it on July 1, expressing confidence in Hakanpaa’s ability to bolster the team’s penalty kill.

“With Hakanpaa, again a penalty killer. One of the areas looking back at last season that we wanted to address was our penalty kill. That’s an area that Jani really shines in. … You saw that in Dallas over the years, and specifically this past season,” Treliving said.

Along with Hakanpaa, Toronto signed Chris Tanev to a six-year deal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson to strengthen their defense.

“We’ve got a group of defensemen. I’d rather have too many than not enough, and we’ll try to sort this out in the coming days. Today’s a day that you can add players, but you build your team over the course of the summer. There are certainly some areas that we still want to address and still want to augment,” Treliving added.

However, Hakanpaa’s deal with the Maple Leafs remains unofficial, leaving his future with the team uncertain.

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