Latest News: Leafs Medical Staff Approved Signing of Player With ‘Degenerative Knee’ Issues

Despite the knee problems, the Toronto Maple Leafs medical staff approved the signing of defenseman Jani Hakanpaa, according to analyst and former NHL player Nick Kypreos.

The Maple Leafs reportedly signed Hakanpaa to a two-year contract for $1.5 million each season on July 1. But then, Kypreos confirmed what Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun had reported—Hakanpaa suffered a knee injury.

The former player claims that the signing was approved by the Maple Leafs medical staff in a story published on July 4 in Kypreos’ Toronto Star column.
According to a Dallas insider, the team would have preferred to have Hakanpaa back, but they were concerned that his “degenerative knee” would be difficult to treat the next season. The medical staff of the Leafs had a thorough evaluation before the signing and felt extremely comfortable approving Shanahan and Treliving to proceed, so it’s clear that they don’t feel the same way,” Kypreos stated.


It’s intriguing that despite Dallas’ medical staff’s disapproval, the Maple Leafs’ medical staff approved Hakanpaa’s signing.
Nevertheless, neither the NHL nor the Maple Leafs have officially announced Hakanpaa’s deal.
GM of the Maple Leafs Is Anticipating What Hakanpaa Brings
The Maple Leafs’ general manager, Brad Treliving, concentrated on strengthening the defense during the free agency period, and adding Hakanpaa to the roster was one way to do so.

Once more, Hakanpaa is a penalty killer. When we thought back on the previous season, our penalty kill was one of the things we wanted to improve. In that regard, Jani excels greatly. Over the years, and particularly this past season, you saw that in Dallas,” Treliving remarked.
Hakanpaa was expected to assist with the penalty kill and be in the third pairing. Treliving also signed Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a four-year contract and Chris Tanev to a six-year agreement in addition to the six-foot-7 defenseman.

“We have a defensive group. We will attempt to resolve this in the upcoming days. I would rather to have too many than not enough. You can add players today, but during the summer, you assemble your team. Treliving continued, “There are undoubtedly some areas that we still want to improve and enhance.
According to CapFriendly, Toronto is currently $1.5 million over the salary cap.
Habanpaa’s NHL tenure

The St. Louis Blues selected Hakanpaa 104th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft.

The Finnish defenseman returned to Europe after playing three seasons in the AHL, therefore he never saw action in the NHL with the Blues. He joined with the Anaheim Ducks after spending four years in Europe.

On March 4, 2020, Hakanpaa made his debut in the NHL. Before being moved to the Carolina Hurricanes, he was a member of the Ducks for one and a half years. The Stars then offered Hakanpaa a three-year, $4.5 million contract.
In 288 NHL games over his career, Hakanpaa has skated and scored 15 goals and 30 assists for 45 points. In 33 postseason games, he participated and finished with one goal, three assists, and four points.


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