The evening might have been a rough one for Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander as he returned from action for the first time since agreeing to a six-year contract extension, however, things got worse on Friday following practice.
According to Joshua Clipperton of the Canadian Press, Nylander and teammate Kasperi Kapanen were involved in a car accident on Friday near the team's practice facility. The Maple Leafs confirmed the incident, adding that there were no injuries affecting the two players.
The minor car crash took place just outside the Mastercard Centre in Etobicoke a short time ago.
The practice occurred this morning after the Maple Leafs fell 5-4 in overtime at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. Nylander drew a Niklas Kronwall holding penalty and had a couple shot attempts blocked, but otherwise didn’t get a whole lot accomplished in 12:29 of ice time — the 10th-lowest total of his 186-game NHL career. Both Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson both received more ice-time with 17:26 and 14:05 respectively. He didn’t play in the final 11:37 of regulation. Nylander was demoted to the fourth line for a spell, while Kapanen moved up to the Matthews line.
On Friday during the Leafs' practice, head coach Mike Babcock made some changes to his lineup. The 22-year-old winger practiced on a line with Nazem Kadri and Connor Brown, while Matthews skated with Kapanen and Johnsson. Marleau did not practice on Friday, leaving Tyler Ennis, Par Lindholm and Frederik Gauthier to form the fourth line. The line of Zach Hyman, John Tavares and Mitch Marner once again remained untouched.
It's good news to hear that no injuries took place in this crash. We are sure however that the kids were shaken up by the incident. We will provide more information from the team if this car crash impacts the lineup for Saturday.
The Maple Leafs will visit the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.