clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

FTB: The Leafs will have to make some roster and lineup moves soon

Two players are coming back from injury, and some decisions have to be made across the whole organisation about who to play where.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have shuffled the lower decks again. It’s part of what is now a routine rotation of bottom-six forwards on and off the Marlies to get them time to practice with the Maple Leafs, and potentially play in a few games.

Joey Anderson has gone through this rotation before, but unlike Kirill Semyonov, he actually hasn’t made it into a Leafs game yet this season. It’s possible he could make his debut in the Leafs next game which is tomorrow against the Colorado Avalanche. The Marlies don’t have any games until next weekend, both of which are at home.

However, these moves reminded me to check in on the injured players on the roster and I noted that both Peter Mrazek and Ilya Mikheyev are scheduled to return soon, at least as based on the timelines announced when they went on injured reserve status.

Mrazek is expected to be back first and his return will trigger a shuffling down of goalies through the whole Leafs system. Joseph Woll is expected to return to the Marlies, however they are also expected to see Ian Scott return from injury at about the same time. That would leave the Marlies with five goalies: Woll, Scott, Hutchinson, Källgren, and Petruzzelli. It’s certain at least one of those will be dispatched to the Newfoundland Growlers, though the question is which one? Keith Petruzzelli certainly impressed in his Marlies debut on Saturday where they defeated the Monsters 4-3, but how many starts would he ever get if the Marlies have Woll back with Hutchinson, and they also want Scott to start playing in games too? It might actually be best for him to return to the Growlers for a while so at least he can regularly play in games. Beyond that, I have no idea where all this leaves Erik Källgren in the organisation.

As for Mikheyev, his return was supposed to be about eight weeks after his thumb injury in October, and we’re now seven weeks through that period.

When Mikheyev returns, some big salary cap dollars hit the team meaning Kyle Dubas will have to carefully manoeuvre him back on to the roster, while Sheldon Keefe will have to disrupt some standing lines which have gelled quite well together in the past two weeks.

Even with Woll and Anderson/Semyonv on the Marlies, it will be a complex task to manage getting Mikheyev on the team and staying cap compliant. Kyle Clifford could be in the mix to move back to the Marlies too. I’m sure they have the plan figured out, but we all have to wait through this week to see how they do it.

And if the Leafs can still do one more rotation of players in and out before this happens, they should call up Brett Seney. He’s earned the cup of coffee, at the minimum, with 8 goals and 5 assists in 16 games.

Other News

Speaking of Andersons, Josh had a brutal giveaway last night that lead to a game winning goal for the Vancouver Canucks. Wouldn’t it be something if this is what saved Jim Benning’s job?

Highlights and quotes from Geoff Molson’s press conference - Eyes On The Prize
Geoff Molson spoke to the media on Monday after the decision to overhaul the hockey operations department, firing Marc Bergevin, Trevor Timmins, and Paul Wilson and bringing in Jeff Gorton.

Hiring Jeff Gorton is a master stroke by Geoff Molson - Eyes On The Prize
The Canadiens owner thinks outside the box in order to try and improve the team.

Penguins, Fenway Sports Group announce sale - PensBurgh
Mario “will continue his role guiding hockey operations for the organization.” The NHL’s Board of Governors still needs to approve the new ownership at the new meeting, but that is expected to be just a formality, given the strong reputation and appeal for the league to link itself to a partner like Fenway Sports Group.

Meanwhile, there’s trade demands in Boston.

And there’s trade desperation in San Jose.