The Toronto Maple Leafs were notably missing one of their players on the opening day of training camp but it may be quite some time before we learn what is really going on.
On Monday Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe acknowledged the absence of Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren but was limited to saying that the 21 year old blue liner was "unfit to play today," as per the National Hockey League's new policies. This will of course cause a great deal of speculation regarding whether Liljegren is hurt, or sick, or has COVID-19 or any other number of ailments but the reality is that we may never know what is really going on.
The NHL has issued a blackout on all injury or illness updates during both Phase 3 and Phase 4 of its Return to Play, meaning that teams themselves have been barred from disclosing potential injuries or ailments to their players. We have already seen a large number of players declared as unfit to play around the league today, but don't expect any clarity from the NHL on this matter. The league has determined that they will provide updates on these situations, but they will not disclose the names of the players involved or even the teams involved and will only disclose the relevant numbers to the public.
This will no doubt cause a ton of confusion moving forward and I for one am curious to see if the league can maintain this nonsense for the entirety of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.