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Frederik Andersen out of World Cup with injury

Maple Leafs goalie won't play for Team Europe, expected to be ready for 2016-17 season

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / Staff Writer

QUEBEC CITY - There were only two goaltenders on the ice at Centre Videotron in Quebec City for Team Europe on Monday, as it began its training camp for the World Cup of Hockey 2016. Neither one was Frederik Andersen.

Nor will Andersen be joining Team Europe, as he was expected to do for the upcoming tournament, but he is expected to be ready for the start of the 2016-17 NHL season, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello announced Monday.

Instead, Andersen, who sustained an upper-body injury Friday playing for Denmark in a pre-Olympic qualifying game against Slovenia, will need to recover for three to four weeks.

Andersen, 26, was acquired by the Maple Leafs on June 20 in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks. He went 22-9-7 with a 2.30 goals against average and a .919 save percentage in 43 games for the Ducks last season.

"We're thrilled to have him [in Toronto]," Maple Leafs and Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said on Monday in Ottawa. "This gives him extra rest to get ready for the Leafs. He's doing really good, he'll be ready to go for training camp. We don't expect any setbacks, he'll be ready to go.

"It's unfortunate he didn't get to represent his team and build confidence in this tournament, but it's also a good situation for us. We can work with him every day, he'll be very fit and he'll be ready to go when we're ready to go."

Toronto acquired Andersen in an attempt to shore up their goaltending. The Maple Leafs signed Andersen to a five-year contract, and the expectation is that he will be their starting goaltender this season as Toronto looks to go on the upswing with an injection of new talent after finishing 29-42-11, the worst record in the NHL last season.

The injury leaves Team Europe with its two current goaltenders, Jaroslav Halak (Slovakia) and Thomas Greiss (Germany), along with a replacement who Team Europe is expected to announce Tuesday.

While not everyone on Team Europe is familiar with each other, coming from different NHL teams, but also from eight different national teams, the two remaining goaltenders know each other quite well. Halak and Greiss spent last season with the New York Islanders, sharing the goaltending duties.

"I'm used to him from last season," Halak said Monday after practice. "Obviously [with] Frederik being out, that didn't help. But we just need to step up and who's going to play, it doesn't matter. We just support each other."

Halak and Greiss split time fairly evenly in New York last season, mostly due to injury trouble for Halak, who went 18-13-4 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage in 36 starts. Greiss was 23-11-4 with a 2.36 GAA and a .925 save percentage in 41 games.

It was all Greiss in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after Halak suffered a severe groin injury in March. Greiss went 5-6 in the postseason with a 2.46 GAA and .923 save percentage, and helped the Islanders advance to the Eastern Conference Second Round with an excellent performance in the first round against the Florida Panthers.

Asked about the biggest challenge facing Team Europe, Halak said, "It's obviously getting together, getting to know each other on the ice, their habits. We only have three games to do it, and then on [Sept. 17] we get Team USA right away. That's a really tough start for us, but like I said, there is no easy match at the World Cup."

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