When Nikita Zaitsev was surprisingly placed on injured reserve this weekend, many believed it could push the Toronto Maple Leafs to make a move ahead of the upcoming holiday roster freeze. Zaitsev, who logs the most ice time of any Maple Leafs player, is expected to be out for at least two weeks with a lower-body injury, hurting what was already seen as a Toronto weak point.

The Maple Leafs have been tenuously linked to several defenders this season like Ian Cole in Pittsburgh and Erik Gudbranson in Vancouver, but haven’t yet made a move to strengthen the back end. Instead, they recalled Martin Marincin from the minor leagues and that could be all they do for some time. Darren Dreger was on TSN radio this morning and spoke about the Maple Leafs’ search, pointing out that he doesn’t believe there is an increased level of urgency.

I don’t get the sense that [Maple Leafs GM] Lou Lamoriello is calling 28 general managers like his partner [Senators GM] Pierre Dorion in Ottawa trying to find something. But the word is out there that if something surfaces on the market, Toronto would have considerable interest.