The Maple Leafs will head into Thursday’s opener without their biggest summer acquisition, as Tim Connolly was officially placed on the injured reserve list Wednesday afternoon.
Connolly has been nursing an upper body injury suffered when he fell in practice last week and was placed on IR prior to Wednesday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline for the team to declare their 23-man opening night roster.
The 30-year-old centre was placed on the IR retroactive to when he first suffered the injury and is thus eligible to return as early as Saturday versus Ottawa.
Connolly, who signed a two-year, $9 million contract in July, missed 23 games in the last two seasons with Buffalo while registering 30 goals and 107 points.