NHL insider reveals worrying news for Toronto Maple Leafs fans

Graham Montgomery
July 9, 2024  (9:45 PM)

Former Dallas Stars defenseman Jani Hakanpaa speaking with the media
Photo credit: NHL

The Toronto Maple Leafs have somehow stumbled across more injuries on their blueline through one of their recent free agency additions.

The team reportedly signed defenseman Jani Hakanpaa to a two-year contract less than an hour after free agency kicked off on July 1st. According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, the deal came with a 1.5 million dollar cap hit.
Jani Hakanpaa 2 x $1.5M Toronto
At the time, there was some buzz about Hakanpaa's health, as he did not suit up for a single playoff game for the Stars this season. Furthermore, Stars head coach Pete DeBoer hinted that Hakanpaa was not particularly close to returning after the Stars were eliminated. Now that speculation has only grown as the team still has not officially announced the deal.
Speculation surrounds defenseman Jani Hakanpaa's signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs following a knee injury. Reports suggest doubts on his fitness, with concerns raised by hockey insiders including Mark Masters of TSN.
NHL insider Chris Johnston revealed on the SDPN podcast that Hakanpaa may very well not sign with the Leafs after all. The team doctors are reportedly looking into his knee after something came up in his physical. Notably, it was a knee injury that kept him out of the playoffs this season.
"I think they reviewed his records, but now they will get their own doctors to look at him. That's my understanding... The Leafs don't officially have him under contract, I think they agreed to a contract pending physical and I don't know if he is going to do so or's not a bad bet though."

This could spell bad news for the Leafs. Luckily, it seems as though they have not officially signed him yet. As such, they may avoid another injury stricken player. That being said though, they will then have a roster spot to fill. Surely though, Brad Treliving can find another bottom pair defenseman in free agency for a reasonable price.