Toninato on soft food for time being

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Dominic Toninato is owed a juicy steak dinner from one of his teammates. Problem is, he won't be able to enjoy it for quite some time.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/11/2021 (447 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Dominic Toninato is owed a juicy steak dinner from one of his teammates. Problem is, he won’t be able to enjoy it for quite some time.

The 27-year-old Winnipeg Jets forward suffered a painful mouth injury during Monday’s practice, courtesy of a puck deflected off the stick of defenceman Dylan Samberg. Four of his teeth were broken, while a fifth had to be removed. He’s also sporting a swollen lip, and played Tuesday’s game against Edmonton with a full cage protecting his face.

“There’s a couple other teeth that were a little loose and stuff,” said Toninato. “Everything they did, we just wanted to heal it up and make sure we get no more damage. Just have to wear it for a couple of days.”

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Dominic Toninato took a puck to the mouth during practice on Monday.

Andrew Copp ended up picking the remnants off the ice at Canada Life Centre, which led to another player jokingly suggesting he “put them on a necklace.” Turns out one of the broken chiclets was re-attached.

“The dentist did a heck of a job,” said Toninato. “I can eat soft food just fine, just throw it in the back of the mouth. Just shakes and smoothies.”

Samberg was apologetic for the accidental injury, but will have to issue a rain cheque on that meal for Toninato given Samberg was sent down to the Manitoba Moose on Tuesday. It wasn’t punishment, of course, but the next step in Samberg’s recovery from an ankle he sprained in training camp. He had been skating with the Jets for the past week and should get plenty of game action down on the farm.

“I thought he fit really well into our practices,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said of the 22-year-old, who made his pro debut last season with the Moose but has yet to get a taste of NHL action.

“Sometimes you get an injured guy that maybe got called up and he got banged up, you can almost see it in their practice — they’re going ‘OK it’s time for me to go back down because I really don’t belong here,’ and you would encourage that. But he’s out in practice, doing the drills, making good plays, and fitting in. That’s a really important part of making that next step. You have to have the belief of the players around you in that room. Part of that is how you practice,” said Maurice.

“Are you putting it on a guy’s tape or are you putting it in their feet. After a while, they’ll appreciate good plays. I liked his practices. He could have fit in here fine with that. The next step for him is to get into games. But that’s a big chunk of time for a guy who is just coming in and turning pro. He needs to go play and play a lot.”

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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