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New injury report puts Jani Hakanpaa's career in jeopardy


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Mark Parsons
July 2, 2024  (5:32 PM)
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New Toronto Maple Leaf Jani Hakanpaa
Photo credit: Instagram

The Toronto Maple Leafs recently signed Jani Hakanpaa, a towering 6-foot-7 defenseman, to a two-year, $3M contract.

This acquisition, announced by GM Brad Treliving on the first day of NHL free agency, was intended to strengthen the Leafs' defense for their Stanley Cup pursuit. Hakanpaa, renowned for his penalty-killing abilities, seemed like a perfect fit for the team.

Hakanpaa's NHL career may be over

However, a report by Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun suggests that Hakanpaa may never play for the Maple Leafs—or any NHL team—again. According to Simmons, Hakanpaa's knee issues are severe, with some describing his condition as "bone-on-bone." Despite the Leafs' optimism about his potential impact, there are doubts about whether he can return to the ice.
Jani Hakanpaa's knee history:
May 2023: Knee injury, in and out of playoff lineup
June 2023: Prepares for knee surgery
September 2023: Revealed that he opted against surgery
May/June 2024: Misses entire playoffs due to knee injury
June 2024: Underwent arthroscopic procedure

Hakanpaa was an 18-minute-per-game player for the Dallas Stars just two years ago. Yet, his last NHL game might have been in March. If he does manage to play for the Leafs, it would defy the expectations of many who have observed his struggles in recent seasons.
Losing Hakanpaa would be a significant setback for both him and the Maple Leafs, who have high hopes for the upcoming 2024/25 season. If he cannot overcome his knee issues, it would mark a heartbreaking end to a promising career.
Source: HockeyPatrol
Leafs' Hakanpaa reportedly to never play in the NHL due to injury
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New injury report puts Jani Hakanpaa's career in jeopardy

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