The Toronto Marlies open their season tonight in Rochester, New York facing the Amerks, the Buffalo Sabres affiliate, at 7 pm. This is a back-to-back home-and-home, so game two is in Toronto on Saturday at 4 pm. Tickets for that game are available, and prices start at $15.35 for single seats. There’s fees and taxes, etc., but the price comparison to Leafs tickets is huge while the talent gap is a lot smaller.

If you want deals and promotions on tickets, go to and sign up for Marlies Insider.

If you want to watch the Marlies, the option right now is AHL TV. With the demise of Leafs TV there is currently no regular broadcast option, but some Marlies games are shown on TSN every year.

AHL TV is a good streaming service, but it’s priced high if you want all-access.

The Team Pass, which gets you all home and away games is priced right now at $65 USD.  If you want just the home or away games of a team, that’s $45 USD. Note those packages are regular season games only.

If you want just a taste of the Marlies on AHL TV, it is free this weekend (you’ll need to set up an account).

Who is even on this year’s Marlies team? A lot of interesting players beginning in net. The Leafs signed Dylan Ferguson to a PTO for camp, and now he’s with the Marlies on another. They haven’t signed a real contract yet, however.

The rest of the roster (scroll down) includes some players that made an impact at training camp led by waiver-rules and cap-space casualty Nick Robertson.

He played only 28 games last year, but he was in the top 20 for forwards in primary points per game played. He was great when he got to play. After this Leafs camp, the expectations will be even higher.

While Robertson is clearly the best player on the team, there’s others who are going to shine in the AHL:

Erik Källgren should be the starting goaltender with Joe Woll still injured. Keith Petruzzelli is still with the Marlies, while others have been sent to Newfoundland, and he was good in limited AHL use last year.

The defence is missing Carl Dahlström and Jordie Benn, but Victor Mete is on hand with the job of earning the right to be first man up to the Leafs. Filip Král, who impressed everyone in a quiet way might challenge that. Marshall Rifai, who got much better as Leafs camp went on, also needs to make a mark and maybe earn an NHL contract when there is SPC room. Rookie William Villeneuve needs to learn the pro game, and Mikko Kokkonen and Axel Rindell have to both show there’s more to them than good Liiga defenders.

The forwards are pretty stacked on the Marlies this year. Bobby McMann, who was great as a rookie, now looks poised to be a sneaky-great find as a free agent. Max Ellis wants in on that status too. He’s just arrived after three years at Notre Dame where he played with Alex Steeves, Matt Helllickson and new Marlie Graham Slaggert. Speaking of, I think Steeves is pretty good.

The Marlies were very week at centre last year, partly due to injuries. This year they have Pontus Holmberg all season (or will they?) and he was one of the very last players cut from the Leafs. They also have C/W and likely new captain Logan Shaw, Adam Gaudette and Nick Abruzzese who played a lot of centre in the NCAA.

Joey Anderson and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev are also here again, and perhaps looking to make some kind of mark more impressive than training camp provided. Der-Arguchintsev showed flashes of that talent as a setup man in the “prospects play the Red Wings” game, but he wasn’t jostling any NHLers out of a job.

You’re not going to see Wayne Simmonds skating out with the Marlies in Rochester. The team is still working with him to find him an NHL job. You might see Topi Niemelä and Roni Hirvonen in the spring, but that’s months away, and the team is looking very good right now, if a little weaker than they’d like on defence.

2022-2023 Opening Day Marlies Roster

ABRUZZESE, Nick265’11183LSlate Hill, NY06/04/99Toronto (NHL) / Harvard (NCAA)2019 NHL Draft (124th overall)
ANDERSON, Joey286’0207RRoseville, MN06/19/98Toronto (NHL) / Toronto (AHL)Trade with NJD (Oct. 10, 2020)
BLANDISI, Joseph366’0183LMarkham, ON07/18/94Toronto (AHL)Free Agent (March 4, 2022)
CHYZOWSKI, Ryan136’1170LKamloops, BC05/14/00Toronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Free Agent (June 15, 2021)
CLIFFORD, Kyle436’2217LAyr, ON01/13/91St. Louis (NHL) / Toronto (NHL) / Toronto (AHL)Trade with STL (Nov. 16, 2021)
DER-ARGUCHINTSEV, Semyon855’10173RMoscow, Russia09/15/00Toronto (AHL)2018 NHL Draft (76th overall)
DOUGLAS, Curtis536’9242LOakville, ON03/06/00Toronto (AHL)Free Agent (July 27, 2021)
ELLIS, Max225’9171RPlymouth, MI01/18/00Toronto (AHL) / Notre Dame (NCAA)Free Agent (April 8, 2022)
GAUDETTE, Adam716’1194LBraintree, MA10/03/96Ottawa (NHL) / Chicago (NL)Free Agent (July 13, 2022)
GOGOLEV, Pavel756’1197LMoscow, Russia02/19/00Toronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Free Agent (July 29, 2021)
HOLMBERG, Pontus296’0202LVästerås, Sweden03/09/99Växjö (SHL) / Toronto (AHL)2018 NHL Draft (156th overall)
JOHNSTONE, Marc96’0181RCranford, NJ06/19/96Toronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Free Agent (June 18, 2022)
McMANN, Bobby746’2208LWainwright, AB06/15/96Toronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Free Agent (April 2, 2020)
ROBERTSON, Nicholas895’10183LArcadia, CA09/11/00Toronto (NHL) / Toronto (AHL)2019 NHL Draft (53rd overall)
SHAW, Logan116’4212RGlace Bay, NS10/05/92Ottawa (NHL) / Belleville (AHL)Free Agent (July 13, 2022)
SLAGGERT, Graham906’0195LSouth Bend, IN04/06/99Toronto (AHL) / Notre Dame (NCAA)Free Agent (March 31, 2022)
STEEVES, Alex466’0196LSaint Paul, MN12/10/99Toronto (NHL) / Toronto (AHL)Free Agent (March 28, 2021)
HELLICKSON, Matthew126’0183LRogers, MN03/21/98Toronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Free Agent (August 17, 2021)
HOEFENMAYER, Noel26’0192LToronto, ON01/06/99Toronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Free Agent (April 4, 2020)
HOLLOWELL, Mac815’9187RNiagara Falls, ON09/26/98Toronto (AHL)2018 NHL Draft (118th overall)
KOKKONEN, Mikko846’0200LMikkeli, Finland01/18/01Pelicans (Liiga)2019 NHL Draft (84th overall)
KRÁL, Filip826’2198LBlansko, Czechia10/20/99Toronto (AHL)2018 NHL Draft (149th overall)
METE, Victor985’9185LWoodbridge, ON06/07/98Ottawa (NHL)Free Agent (July 14, 2022)
PIETRONIRO, Matteo326’1185LBoise, ID10/20/98Toronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Free Agent – AHL (June 16, 2022)
RIFAI, Marshall66’2201LBeaconsfield, QC03/16/98Harvard (NCAA)Free Agent (March 29, 2022)
VILLENEUVE, William766’2184RSherbrooke, QC03/20/02Saint John (QMJHL)2020 NHL Draft (122nd overall)
FERGUSON, Dylan16’2194LLantzville, BC09/20/98Henderson (AHL)Professional Tryout
KÄLLGREN, Erik506’3200LStockholm, Sweden10/14/96Toronto (NHL) / Toronto (AHL)Free Agent (May 19, 2021)
PETRUZZELLI, Keith806’6180LWilbraham, MA02/09/99Toronto (AHL) / Newfoundland (ECHL)Free Agent (August 29, 2021)
ABRAMOV, Mikhail955’11170LMoscow, Russia03/26/01Toronto (AHL)2019 NHL Draft (115th overall)
BADINI, Jack336’0203LGreenwich, CT01/19/98San Diego (AHL)Free Agent (July 29, 2022)
RINDELL, Axel616’0192REspoo, Finland04/23/00Kärpät (Liiga) / Jukurit (Liiga)2020 NHL Draft (177th overall)

If you’ve noticed Joe Woll isn’t on here at all, so have I, and while Cap Friendly lists him as part of the Season Opening Injured Reserve, they also show Abramov and Rindell in that category. We’ve never really got a clear answer on the status of Woll, who was reported to have suffered a shoulder injury last spring.

That’s this year’s Marlies to begin, and they start their quest to have a better season than last year’s tonight on the road.