There's been some roster moves at all levels lately, and the table below is an attempt to sort out who plays where right at this moment. It's not an easy task, because there are some injuries, a dearth of goalies and a couple of guys who went on a Finnish vacation where they ended up playing some hockey. I think that's how all Finnish vacations go actually.
How it shakes out:
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Toronto Marlies||Orlando Solar Bears|
|Jonathan Bernier||G||Ray Emery||G||Rob Madore||G|
|James Reimer||G||Antoine Bibeau||G||Ryan Massa||G|
|Garret Sparks||G||IR||Zach Hyman||F-RW||Eric Faille||F|
|Brad Boyes||F-R||Josh Leivo||F-RW||Erik Bradford||F|
|Michael Grabner||F-R||Connor Brown||F-RW||IR||Adam Reid||F|
|P.-A. Parenteau||F-R||Casey Bailey||F-RW||Rylan Schwartz||F|
|Joffrey Lupul||F-L||Matt Frattin||F-RW||Denver Manderson||F|
|James van Riemsdyk||F-L||Kasperi Kapanen||F-RW||LOAN||T.J. Foster||F|
|Tyler Bozak||F-C||Justin Johnson||F-RW||Lindsay Sparks||F|
|Byron Froese||F-C||IR||Jeremy Morin||F-LW||Matt Rupert||F|
|Peter Holland||F-C||Richard Clune||F-LW||SUS||Johnny McInnis||F|
|Nazem Kadri||F-C||Brendan Leipsic||F-LW||Brady Vail||F|
|Leo Komarov||F-C||Brett Findlay||F-LW||Jack Rodewald||F|
|Shawn Matthias||F-C||Nikita Soshnikov||F-LW||Patrick Watling||F||IR|
|Nick Spaling||F-C||IR||Sam Carrick||F-C||Max Nicastro||D|
|Daniel Winnik||F-C||Ryan Rupert||F-C||Carl Nielsen||D|
|Mark Arcobello||F-C||Frederik Gauthier||F-C||Brenden Miller||D|
|Frank Corrado||D||William Nylander||F-C||IR||Spencer McAvoy||D|
|Jake Gardiner||D||Andrew Campbell||D||Eric Baier||D|
|Matt Hunwick||D||T.J. Brennan||D||Myles Harvey||D|
|Martin Marincin||D||Scott Harrington||D||Mark Louis||D|
|Dion Phaneuf||D||Stuart Percy||D||Zach Bell||D|
|Roman Polak||D||James Martin||D|
|Morgan Rielly||D||Justin Holl||D|
|Stephane Robidas||D||IR||Viktor Loov||D|
Everybody on the bus.
The Leafs flew to California early this week to bond in the sun, leaving behind a couple of strays in Mark Arcobello and Antoine Bibeau. Arcobello, trying to top last year's trick of playing for four different NHL teams, seems to now play for both the Leafs and the Marlies at the same time.
He was called up to the Leafs when Byron Froese was injured—and Froese is reported to be at least skating with the team. But with William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen in Finland and some injuries on the Marlies, both Arcobello and Bibeau were loaned back to play one game, a 3-2 overtime win against the Syracuse Crunch on January 3, where Arcobello looked a little lost without Brad Boyes on his wing and was held to only one shot on goal, well below his usual production.
They've both since left to join the Leafs on the road; with Reimer not one hundred percent yet, Bibeau is available as backup. But unless someone else is called up or Froese comes off of injured reserve on the trip, the Leafs are travelling without an extra forward. They always have an extra defenceman in Frank Corrado, so they're covered there. Frankie's a bit like a defence insurance policy.
I'm playing where?
Before Arcobello started his yo-yo act, and while the rest of us were enjoying New Year's Eve in a sober and responsible manner, T.J. Brennan spent that day playing forward and defence in the same game. He was a little shaky on some of his forward shifts as the top line centre for Richard Panik and Casey Bailey, and he didn't have his usual high-shooting game while trying to juggle both positions, but he lived to tell the tale, netting a power play goal on his only shot on goal in a 3-2 win over the Lake Erie Monsters.
Not the first time Brennan has played forward. Played a game there in his first spin w the #marlies even took a draw.— Todd Crocker (@HockeyCrock) December 31, 2015
The Marlies repeated this trick with defenceman John Martin two games later for the Arcobello game where they sat Brendan Leipsic, but Martin was restricted to lower lines with fewer minutes.
Good thing all hockey nets look alike.
Meanwhile, the Solar Bears have loaned both goalies to the Marlies over the last few weeks in a double yo-yo move that saw Ryan Massa sit as backup for one game in Toronto, only to go back south while Rob Madore came up to get the start on New Year's Eve. They don't seem to want to start Ray Emery very badly.
Madore and Massa were both with the Solar Bears last night when they defeated the Norfolk Admirals for the first game of a seven-game road trip. The Bears will be unable to use their usual EBUG during this trip (Bobby Fowler has a full time job at the local practice rink), so they will have to either get SPHL goaltender Brandon Jaeger back from the Cottonmouths, or find someone else if they send Massa or Madore up.
The Solar Bears made a trade of forward Scott Wamsganz for future considerations and released defenceman Brad Richard after adding forward Rylan Schwartz a few days before. The end result is they are left with just 11 forwards who are game-ready.
Do we need some more guys?
To make all this more complex at the AHL level, Rich Clune got involved in a big on-ice shoving fest with the Syracuse Crunch on January 2 and was automatically suspended when he was given a game misconduct. He missed the next game, and then he received another one-game league suspension so he'll miss the January 8th game in Manitoba.
There's no word yet if Kapanen will join the Marlies for that game, and of course, we all assume that William Nylander will be out of action for an undetermined number of games. If Kapanen is not available so quickly, the Marlies will have 12 forwards to choose from, with only three of them regular centres. Connor Brown, injured blocking a shot, is about two weeks away from coming back according to Kyle Dubas [Video Link].
The Solar Bears look to my eyes like they need to sign some new guys. The Marlies look like they need a couple of Solar Bears to come up and enjoy winter until the injured return to action. The Leafs look like they need someone else from the AHL to go on this California trip as forward insurance, but they're running a tight roster with three goalies. By my count they have room for one more.
Leafs Make a Trade.
Oh, and speaking of NHL-ready players on the Marlies, they traded Richard Panik to the Chicago Blackhawks, and once he's got his visa troubles sorted out, it's reported he'll get a start with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.
Q said Panik will be given an opportunity "in a pretty good spot," so I'm assuming he gets a crack at starting off with Toews and Hossa.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 5, 2016
But he's joking, right? I mean, he has to be. Panik was good at the AHL, looked like a solid fourth line NHL sort, but that's a long way from Toews and Hossa even if he is just there to carry their water bottles. It's either an incredible example of what the salary cap is doing to the league or a mark of how hard it is to be sarcastic about the Chicago Blackhawks.