It is with great pleasure that I share with you all that Andreas Johnsson is going to be back really soon…
Andreas Johnsson will travel with #Leafs to Florida. In day-to-day territory now with his return.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 9, 2020
It seems doubtful that it will be Sunday night against the Panthers based on previous statements from the team, but since the Leafs immediately return home following the game in Florida it’s possible he’s along for more than just fun in the sun.
The return of Johnsson would likely spell the end of either Adam Brooks’ or Mason Marchment’s time with the Leafs, and that’s not a concern that should weigh too heavily on anyone. Both have been adequate in their fourth line responsibilities but neither has firmly grasped a roster spot the way Pierre Engvall has. Both are waivers exempt and that’s what likely makes them more expendable over players like Gauthier or Timashov.
As for where Johnsson slides in, well, that’s another interesting question as the top six doesn’t look too shabby the way it is currently constructed, and you can argue the same is true of the top nine.
Kerfoot’s time on the Tavares line hasn’t been anything the Leafs should be too attached to, and a Johnsson-Tavares-Nylander line followed by a Engvall-Kerfoot-Kapanen line seem oddly compelling.
It will also be interesting to see if the Andreas Johnsson on the penalty kill experiment resumes, although that is probably something the Leafs will ease into as well.
For now we’ll just enjoy a potentially healthier Leafs lineup and not live in constant fear of who is next.