With the opening of training camp a mere two weeks away, Toronto Maple Leafs defender Stephane Robidas hasn't been cleared for contact.
That probably isn't something the passionate fans in the center of the hockey universe want to hear about their club's biggest offseason acquisition, but to hear Robidas tell it, the news isn't wholly negative. From Robidas' appearance on Sportsnet 590 the Fan on Thursday morning:
I'm feeling great. I've been skating since the end of June, skating pretty hard, training hard in the gym trying to get back to where I was. Everything has been really good. I was in Toronto last week, I'm not cleared for contact yet [...] but I've been skating really hard with the power skating coach and doing lots of stuff, so I've been feeling really good on the ice. So that's very positive.
It's not ideal for Robidas or the Maple Leafs that he hasn't been cleared for contact, but the 37-year-old sustained two separate leg fractures during the 2013-14 campaign; it's actually excellent news that Robidas has been able to get in some intense on-ice sessions over the past three months.
The veteran defender has emerged as one of the league's steadiest and most underrated two-way blue-liners over the past half-decade, but as far as what he hopes to contribute to the Maple Leafs, he appeared to be trying to manage expectations on Thursday.
"I'm not a savior, I'm not going to solve all of the problems," Robidas admitted. "I just want to be piece of the puzzle."