Maple Leafs’ Nylander a potential scratch after being late for team meeting

Toronto Maple Leafs' William Nylander. (Nathan Denette/CP)

Just days after getting William Nylander back from COVID Protocol, the Toronto Maple Leafs are thinking about sidelining the talented winger again.

Nylander wore a grey extras sweater during Monday’s practice at Rogers Arena in Vancouver after reporting late for a team meeting. Now the Leafs are leaning towards holding him out of Tuesday’s game against the Canucks for disciplinary reasons.

“It was a simple [situation] with Will,” said head coach Sheldon Keefe. “It’s just that he was late for a meeting here this morning and his status was that he wasn’t going to play tomorrow, and so we had him on the outside here today for practice and we’re going to discuss it and reassess it for tomorrow night’s game.

“It was just as simple as him missing a meeting.”

That would be heavy punishment given that the 24-year-old just returned from a five-game absence after he self-reported a brief meeting with someone who later showed symptoms of having COVID-19.

Nylander self-isolated and tested negative for nine straight days before returning to the lineup Sunday in Vancouver. He scored a goal and logged 21 minutes in the 3-2 overtime loss to the Canucks.

“I felt pretty good actually,” he said afterwards. “It would have been nice with the win so hopefully we can get that going next game.”

The Leafs are facing multiple lineup questions ahead of Tuesday’s game with Zach Hyman now out with a sprained MCL and Ilya Mikheyev questionable after missing Monday’s practice.

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