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UPDATED: Martin Marincin clears waivers and has been sent down

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He will likely be assigned to the AHL as soon as Tyler Ennis is ready to come off of IR.

Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Martin Marincin has cleared waivers, and will be assigned to the AHL in due course. Marincin was waived yesterday to make room on the Leafs roster for the imminent return from IR of Tyler Ennis.

Marincin, a second-round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers, was signed by the Leafs in 2015 after they traded the rights to Brad Ross and pick #107 to the Oilers for his rights at the draft. At the time, shedding Ross off of the roster and getting back a plausible NHL-defender for the rebuild season to come.

Marincin has spent more productive time on the Marlies than the Leafs over his four seasons in Toronto. He played 65 games in the tank year for the Leafs and had one goal and six assists. His seven points was his career high for any pro team in one season with one exception. In 2012-2013, he had 30 points on the lockout-enhanced Oklahoma City Barons in the AHL.

In the summer of 2016, Marincin signed an extension for two years at an AAV of $1.25 million.

He repeated his seven point season in 2016-2017 in only 25 games on the Leafs, while he spent a great deal of time sitting in the press box while Frank Corrado got all the press for sitting in the press box until he was traded to Pittsburgh. Marincin won that battle of the depth defenders and stayed in Toronto

In the second year of his somewhat oversized contract, he played two games for the Leafs, acquired no points, and had his only other good pro season on a team with 20 points in 52 games on the Marlies and a Calder Cup at the end of a seven point playoff run. He played top pair in the AHL, and performed with a renewed sense of assertiveness on the ice. He might have scored more points back in the day with the Oilers stars who were on the ice with him during the lockout, but that Calder Cup season was his best hockey.

In the summer of 2018, Marincin signed a bargain extension for one year at $800,000. This is the new way of doing things on the Leafs. There are no overpays for depth anymore. With no waiver exemption (he cleared in 2017 to go to the Marlies) the Leafs kept him in the press box again, and he played 10 games, acquiring two assists.

The Marlies are a bit overwhelmed on defence and falling a little short on forwards after recent trades and injuries, however. They currently have 10 defenders other than Marincin on the roster, although a few are hurt right now. Rasmus Sandin, and top pairing right-shooting-defender Timothy Liljegren are both out, but due to return soon. Marincin, who is a left-shooting defender with extensive right-side experience, is back in competition with Frank Corrado for ice time, but also Calle Rosen, who the Leafs signed to an extension, and clearly have earmarked as a future NHL roster player.

There doesn’t seem to be any long-term benefit to the Leafs to play Marincin over Rosen in the AHL. With two other defenders on hand in the Leafs press box, but a real case for Rosen taking a seat there as a “black ace” come playoff time, there is a chance that Marincin will be needed in the AHL later on. Right now he looks like a surplus player who we could see traded for another AHL player now that he’s cleared waivers and an acquiring team can keep him in the AHL unless or until they need him on the NHL roster.

The Leafs could simply keep him for the same reason, however. With just over three weeks to the trade deadline, there’s lots of time for the Leafs to make moves.

UPDATE:

As expected, Marincin has been sent down to the Marlies, according to Lance Hornby.

And here is an updated depth chart for the defense. To reiterate, Marincin will probably play the right side when Sandin returns.