As the Orlando Solar Bears continue to go through changes, they have sent two players signed to Marlies contracts back to Toronto and will welcome back Chase Witala to Florida after nine uneventful days on the Marlies roster.
Witala, a young junior hockey graduate signed this summer, saw no playing time in his trip north.
Coming back up is Daniel Maggio, an enforcer, who played five games with the Solar Bears. He had an assist in each of his first two games, and it bears mentioning that the ECHL can be a higher scoring league than the AHL, but that is a points pace the like of which he’s never produced in the AHL. He had two assists in his entire 36 games with the San Antonio Rampage last year.
And it did not last. He had a game with zeroes on the score sheet, and then a five minute fighting major in his next one and aside from a few minor penalties, and that was it.
Joining him on the ride back to Toronto is Mason Marchment, a man of a different order of toughness. He scored two goals and had one assist in his five games, and kept the trips to the penalty box to one two-minute minor.
At least these two got some game time, and for Marchment, also a graduate from junior hockey, playing is better than not playing on the overstuffed Marlies roster. All of this might have been just a chance for the new Solar Bears coach to look at a couple of options for his team, but it feels like Marchment is a fit for the ECHL while Maggio, no where near the hockey player Brandon Prust is, might need to look farther afield for real playing time. Maggio is only 25, but he has 640 PIM in the AHL.
Chase Witala, who scored at over a point per game in his last two years in the WHL, has only six professional games to his name. Marchment has eight. They must feel like time is ticking down on ever getting a professional career off the ground.
The Leafs, meanwhile, have a very long list of players at all levels of the organization who sit more than they skate. Peter Holland and Frank Corrado are just the most famous. It’s wonderful to have depth, and to have competition for every job—at least every winger job, but at some point, every collector has to ask themselves if they’ve become a hoarder. The Leafs might be nearing that point.