Maple Leafs' Frederik Andersen hurt in Olympic qualifier
Toronto's No. 1 netminder pulled late in loss to Slovenia after colliding with teammate
The Toronto Maple Leafs may start another season with a question mark in goal despite an off-season overhaul at the position after Frederik Andersen suffered an upper-body injury in Denmark's 2018 Olympic qualifier against Slovenia on Friday.
Andersen, whom the Leafs signed to a five-year, $25-million US contract after acquiring him in a June 20 trade with Anaheim, exited the 3-0 loss with about five minutes left in regulation after colliding with a teammate.
WATCH:<br>• Frederik Andersen ["Injury"] V.S Slovenia. He had left the game after this. GIF via <a href="https://twitter.com/aj_ranger">@aj_ranger</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHL?src=hash">#NHL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Leafs?src=hash">#Leafs</a><a href="https://t.co/xLQiqGvpeF">pic.twitter.com/xLQiqGvpeF</a>—@TheHockeyPress
The Leafs said he will be flown back to Toronto to be examined by team officials.
The severity of the injury was initially unclear.
The 26-year-old Andersen reportedly stayed down on the ice for a couple of minutes before he was pulled for Danish backup Sebastian Dahm.
Losing its new No. 1 goaltender long-term would not be an ideal start to Toronto's 100th season, which will be celebrated in part with the first-ever NHL Centennial Classic against Detroit at BMO Field on Jan. 1.
Andersen posted a 2.30 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 37 starts for the Ducks last season. A third-round pick by Anaheim in 2012, Andersen has started more than 50 games just once in his first three NHL seasons.
Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello also recently added former Los Angeles Kings netminder Jhonas Enroth, who had a 2.17 GAA and .922 save percentage last season in a backup role.
After signing Andersen, who was selected to represent Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto later this month, Lamoriello said he loved the size and competitiveness of the six-foot-four, 225-pound native of Herning, Denmark, describing his athleticism as "exceptional."
Toronto is betting on Andersen to solve a long-term need at the goaltending position, one that was woefully thin internally after James Reimer was dealt to San Jose at last season's trade deadline. Two months ago, Jonathan Bernier was sent to Anaheim for a 2017 conditional draft pick.