The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without the services of off-season acquisition Colby Armstrong for the next four to six weeks due to finger surgery.
The Lloydminster, Sask., native injured his finger in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers.
The 27-year-old was signed as an unrestricted free agent during the summer and has one goal and 11 penalty minutes in eight games this season.
Taking his place on the roster is Luca Caputi, 22.
A fourth-round pick in 2007, Caputi has one goal and an assist in six games with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, and leads the team with 24 shots on goal.
Caputi, who looked poised to make the big club after an impressive pre-season in which he posted a goal and three
assists in four games, said jumping bouncing from the AHL to the NHL is nothing new to him.
“I’ve played two years pro and I’ve been up and down pretty much the whole time,” Caputi told the National Post. “That’s the biggest thing: to be positive and prove that you’re a hard-working guy.”
Caputi feels his work ethic is what earned him a chance to play for the Leafs and already has an idea on what his role is heading into the team’s Thursday night’s road clash with the Boston Bruins.
“I think I just have to stick to my game and do what I did in camp,” Caputi said. “Work hard down low, take pucks to the net, be a hard guy to play against every shift.”
Why not Kadri?
Caputi’s call up may come as a surprise to some Toronto hockey fans due to the emergence of young sniper Nazem Kadri.
Kadri seems to have adapted to the rigors of pro hockey, registering three goals and four assists in six games for the Marlies.
Assumed to be first in line for a call up, it’s believed that Caputi got the nod over Kadri due to Caputi’s ability to play a stronger defensive game.
Caputi is likely to skate on a line with Tim Brent and Fredrik Sjostrom. His ability to dig in the corners and take on a grinder role is what caught the eye of Leaf administration.