The Toronto Maple Leafs have recalled goaltenders Michael Hutchinson and Kasimir Kaskisuo from the AHL on an emergency basis, the team announced Thursday.
Toronto also moved starter Frederik Andersen to the injured reserve. Backup Garret Sparks, who has started the last three games due to Andersen’s absence, will be held out of the Leafs’ game against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. He was hit in the mask with a shot and has been placed in concussion protocol, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
Hutchinson will likely be the starter for the afternoon tilt with the Wild. The 28-year-old was acquired a week ago from the Florida Panthers
He has made one start for the Marlies, where he stopped 31 of 35 shots in an overtime win at home over the Charlotte Checkers.
In four appearances with the Panthers this year, Hutchinson has posted a 4.18 goals-against average and a .839 save percentage.
Andersen, who is posting career-best numbers this season, is on track to be a Vezina candidate. Through 30 games, he has a 2.50 GAA and a .923 SV%.
The 29-year-old has missed the past three games. He was originally listed as day-to-day, but will now miss extra time while nursing a groin injury.
Sparks has filled in sparingly for Andersen this season, only making 10 appearances this season. He has a 3.01 GAA and a .905 SV% in 2018-19.
The injuries couldn’t come at a worse time for the Leafs, who will face the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, and Washington Capitals in the month of January.
For Mike Babcock’s group, they’ll have to make it work. Should Sparks clear protocol, he would almost certainly man the crease for the Leafs on Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks. However, concussions are no joke – look to Corey Crawford to see how it can derail a season.
The team will have to be at their best to help out their new goaltenders. After a demoralizing loss at the hands of the New York Islanders, the Leafs will be looking to get back on track during the matinee at Scotiabank Arena.