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In the wake of the diagnosis that defenseman Morgan Rielly would be out until Christmas and perhaps out until the New Year with a knee injury, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas pulled off a one-on-one deal for blueline reinforcements, swapping minor league center Curtis Douglas to the Arizona Coyotes for Conor Timmins.
The St. Catharines, ON native played three seasons with the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL and was selected by Colorado at the top of the second round (32nd overall) in 2017 (the same draft that Toronto selected Timothy Liljegren). In his final year in the Soo, Timmins partnered with current Leaf blueliner Rasmus Sandin, but suffered a concussion late in the season that caused him to miss the entire 2018-19 campaign.
Timmins split time between the Avalanche and their AHL affiliate the next two seasons before being sent to Arizona in July 2021 in the deal that brought Cup-winning goalie Darcy Kuemper to the Avs. The 24-year-old missed most of 2021-22 with a knee injury, was not waiver-exempt, and was at the end of his conditioning stint with AHL Tucson. That likely means that he will get into the Leafs lineup on Friday afternoon in Minnesota or on Saturday when Toronto plays Pittsburgh for the third time this month.
The Leafs take on New Jersey in Newark on Wednesday, hoping to snap the Devils league-leading 13-game winning streak, and will have a skeleton crew manning the blueline against the NHL’s hottest club. Mark Giordano, Justin Holl, Timothy Liljegren, and Rasmus Sandin will likely all play in excess of 20 minutes on the night, with Jordie Benn paired with Mac Hollowell in his first NHL game.
Matt Murray is expected to be in goal on Wednesday after Erik Kallgren made the start in the 3-2 overtime loss to New York on Monday.