On Tuesday, The Athletic published an interview with Nick Robertson. The gist of it is that Robertson is a god damned lunatic for hockey, and I say that in the best possible way. He takes it aggressively seriously, and he wants to make the NHL bad.
Well, what if the Leafs give him that shot.... sort of?
With the OHL and AHL seasons cancelled, and with the NHL seemingly very close to announcing how they will finish the 2019/20 season, there’s a chance for various players to make the playoff roster. There might be very little chance they ever get into a game, mind you, but they’ll be with the team and likely practice with them to stay in some kind of game-shape.
Nick Robertson could be one, of those taxi riders. While Mikheyev is ready to return by now, Andreas Johnsson would be out for another 2-3 months based on the original timeline we were told. That makes their left wing depth as: Hyman, Mikheyev, Engvall, and Clifford. Not exactly a powerhouse bunch for offense, although they are very effective. Then there’s the pretty awful second PP unit that’s sucked up the joint all year. Nick Robertson could add his lethal shot and PP play making (he actually had more PP assists than goals this year).
He’ll be a long shot to even make the playoff roster, I’d say. But who knows! We’re living in some strange-ass times right now. Might be good to keep him around NHL practices at least.
but there are some other candidates that seem likely:
Aside from Nick Robertson, there probably isn’t any other non-AHL guy who has even a shred of hope to be added to the taxi squad.
- Adam Brooks — If he’s healthy, he can play fourth line wing or center and kill penalties. He’s already played in 7 NHL games this year. Keefe also seems to love him.
- Kenny Agostino — Led the Marlies in goals and points this year, has NHL experience.
- Nic Petan — By far the best Marlie in points per game, has NHL experience, can play center or wing.
- Egor Korshkov — Still developing but leads the NHL in goals per game this year!
I assume Sandin will not be considered as a taxi squad defenseman even with a full healthy defense group:
Morgan Rielly — Tyson Barrie
Jake Muzzin — Justin Holl
Dermott — Cody Ceci
He might swap in the place of Dermott, or Ceci, or hell even Holl. Or maybe they move Dermott to the right instead. That leaves the taxi squad seats for defensemen available to the likes of:
- Timothy Liljegren — He shoots right and has NHL experience, albeit a mixed bag for quality play.
- Calle Rosen — Good balance of veteran presents (heh) and ability, shame he doesn’t shoot right.
- Martin Marincin — BIG SAFETY WILL NEVER DIE!
I mean I guess they’ll take at least one goalie for their taxi squad just in case, but we’d better hope that none of them wind up being necessary.
- Kasimir Kaskisuo — the Marlies #1, but that’s damning with faint praise considering how the Marlies did this year.
- Joseph Woll — lol no. Still have hopes for him as a prospect but he had a rough year adapting to the AHL on a pretty awful AHL team.
What do you think? Who do you want the Leafs to take with them as emergency/injury replacements when the season/playoffs return?
ONTO THE LINKS
Prospect dragons: Contextualizing NHL draft pick values | by loserpoints at Raw Charge
Tyson Barrie is preparing to hit free agency | by Jon Steitzer at TLN
Departing staffer Jack Han offers insight into his time with the Leafs, Marlies | by James Mirtle at The Athletic
Former Leaf Connor Carrick has a new podcast episode with current Leaf Mitch Marner:
Connor Carrick Podcast Episode #7 with Mitch Marner @Marner93 is live! He's an elite player of course. He's a better friend than you know. I love em for his empathy as a teammate.— Connor Carrick (@connorcarrick) May 20, 2020
Apple Podcast: https://t.co/cmo12OskDp
Spotify: https://t.co/S3DQok2CSs pic.twitter.com/hXUmfXyHfA
New Marlies’ signee Noel Hoefenmayer has a nice new addition to his mantlepiece.
Marlies signee Noel Hoefenmayer has been named OHL Defenceman of the Year. Ran the best PP in the OHL. Played on the top pairing on the best team in the OHL. Led the OHL’s D in points. So...— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) May 20, 2020
AROUND THE HOCKEY WORLD
NHL, NHLPA working on 24-team conference-based playoff setup | by Elliot Friedman at Sportsnet
NHL still mulling over plan to reopen team practice facilities | by Chris Johnston at Sportsnet
(Audio) Bob McKenzie on NHL return to play plan, playoff format, and more | by TSN
Have a great Thursday everyone!