Sheldon Keefe shares concerning update on Matt Murray.
Rick Madonik/Toronto Star  

Sheldon Keefe shares concerning update on Matt Murray.

This could prove to be a huge problem for the Toronto Maple Leafs down the stretch.

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs may have a bit of a problem on their hands.

In a surprise announcement on Monday, Sheldon Keefe revealed that veteran goaltender Matt Murray is working his way back from the hip surgery he had back in October. In fact Keefe revealed that Murray has been working out and has even been facing live shots in a bid to get himself back into game shape.

This could of course prove to be a major headache for the Maple Leafs moving forward given that Murray's cap hit of $4.687 million is currently buried on long-term injured reserve. Should Murray return from injury, the Maple Leafs would have to find a way to make the dollars work against the cap, much easier said than done.

That being said there has been no indication as of yet that Murray will return this season, although the timeline that was established following his surgery does suggest it is possible. At the time Murray's surgery was announced, the Leafs expected him to miss anywhere from 6-8 months of action.

The lower end of that projection, six months, could see Murray return sometime in the month of March. That would of course still very much be within the timeline of the 2023-24 National Hockey League regular season and could cause problems for the Leafs.

The Maple Leafs no doubt have some plan in place in the event of Murray's return, but I suspect it is a situation they would prefer to avoid entirely.