TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs were hoping to see what more Frazer McLaren could do beyond fighting, but that experiment will have to wait.
An MRI revealed that McLaren suffered a fractured right pinky finger at practice Sunday, according to coach Randy Carlyle. The team did not set an official time frame for the enforcer’s return.
“At one point those were always four to six (weeks), but I would not say that it’s four to six right now,” Carlyle said Monday. “That’s not the message that we had gotten back. It’ll be immobilized for at least two weeks to let the healing process start.”
Carlyle said McLaren’s finger will not require a pin be inserted into it. Instead, it’ll have a splint.
McLaren suffered the injury when he was slashed on the right hand during practice.
Carlyle mentioned Friday that the Leafs considered giving McLaren some penalty-killing duties in addition to his role as a fighter. There was potential of trying that in the pre-season after seeing McLaren kill penalties for the Worcester Sharks in the AHL.
“That’s where the growth is possible for him to take the next step,” Carlyle said. “Do you use him in the exhibition season killing penalties? He’s had that role before at the lower level. Is it time to experience that now, give him a little bit of an opportunity?”
The 25-year-old participated in 35 games last season for Toronto and one for the San Jose Sharks. He has played just four seconds of short-handed time in his NHL career.