Breaking: Newly Signed Maple Leafs Defensemen Facing Career Ending Injury, Deal Off Now

Breaking: Newly Signed Maple Leafs Defensemen Facing Career Ending Injury, Deal Off Now

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenseman Jani Hakanpaa to a rumored two-year contract worth $1.5 million each season.

Although insiders confirmed the agreement, the Maple Leafs have yet to make an official announcement. According to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, Hakanapaa’s absence is due to a significant injury.

“I was informed that his knee was bone on bone. I questioned the Leafs about it. They stated that their doctors cleared him to be signed. “We’ll see if he can play again in the fall, or later,” Simmons said on X.

Hakanpaa dealt with a knee injury last season and his last game was on March 16. Despite that, Toronto moved quickly to sign Hakanpaa to a two-year deal on July 1 once free agency opened.

Some NHL Teams Thought Hakanpaa Would Never Play Again

After Hakanpaa had agreed to a two-year deal with the Maple Leafs, Simmons wrote in his column for the Toronto Sun that he was surprised by that news.

According to Simmons, NHL team sources told him that Hakanpaa will never play again in the NHL.

“It wasn’t the same for Hakanpaa, who also joined with Toronto on Canada Day. A year or two ago, Hakanpaa would have been a valuable addition to the Leafs’ defense. He’s a 6-foot-7 monster of a man, well-known in the room, speaks hockey in the best way possible, and is an unrivaled penalty-killer. On July 1, Simmons wrote, “But one with a knee so bad that some think — though the Leafs disagree — that he may never play again.”

“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.

Hakanpaa skated in 64 games with the Stars last season recording 2 goals and 10 assists for 12 points.

Maple Leafs GM Spoke About Signing Hakanpaa

Despite the fact that the signing with Hakanpaa has yet to be officially announced, Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving commented about it on July 1.

Treliving believed Hakanpaa would enhance the team’s penalty kill.

“With Hakanpaa, another penalty killer. Looking back on last season, one of the areas we wanted to improve was our penalty kill. Jani excels in this specific area. “You saw that in Dallas over the years, especially this past season,” Treliving stated.

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

“We have a group of defensemen. I’d rather have too many than not enough, so we’ll try to work things out in the following days. Today is a day to add players, but you’ll construct your club over the summer. “There are some areas that we still want to address and improve,” Treliving remarked.

However, Hakanpaa’s contract with the Maple Leafs is not yet official, and whether it will be fulfilled remains questionable.

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