Maple Leafs' Alex Galchenyuk to make debut against Calgary Flames, Wayne Simmonds Returns

Alex Galchenyuk will make his Toronto Maple Leafs debut and Wayne Simmonds makes his return from a wrist injury as the team ices a fully healthy lineup for the first time since January.
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Alex Galchenyuk will make his Toronto Maple Leafs debut when the team hosts the Calgary Flames on Friday.

Acquired in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 15 for prospect forward Egor Korshkov and defenseman David Warsofsky, the Leafs spent a month rebuilding the third-overall 2012 NHL Draft pick.

This week, Glachenyuk joined the Leafs at practice and was placed on a line with John Tavares and William Nylander, signalling his imminent return to the NHL.

"We felt that having four days off here between games and a couple of practice days was a good chance for him to be around our team a little bit more," Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. "He's played really well with the (Toronto) Marlies and perhaps even more importantly, has handled himself very well, he's got lots of confidence and feeling really good about his game."

Galchenyuk scored two goals and added six assists in six games with the Marlies. The Leafs had the former 30-goal scorer work with their development staff in an attempt to bring his game back to the level he had shown in the earlier stages of his career.

"From seeing what he did with the Marlies it seemed like he kind of got his swagger back," Mitch Marner said of Galchenyuk. "His confidence with the puck, his power plays and kind of getting his magic back."

The Leafs get a key component of their power play back with Wayne Simmonds making his return to the lineup.

Out with a broken wrist for the last seven weeks, Simmonds will play on the team's fourth line with Pierre Engvall and Jason Spezza. But he'll also reprise his role as the net-front presence on the team's first power play unit.

Simmonds has five goals in 12 games this season. Three of his goals came on the power play. Before his injury on Feb. 6, The Scarborough native was in the zone and worked his way up from the fourth line to the team's second line.

With Toronto loaded with skill at the forward position, Keefe said it's likely that all four lines will get a healthy set of minutes to start the game.

Jack Campbell will dress as the backup goaltender to Frederik Andersen on Friday. Campbell hasn't dressed since shutting out the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 27. A lingering leg injury has limited Campbell to just one start in two months.

Toronto will make several roster moves to accommodate Simmonds and the $1.5 million cap hit that will come off the injured reserve. Galchenyuk's activation adds a cap hit of $1.05 million.



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