According to the AHL transaction page and James Mirtle of The Athletic, the Maple Leafs have assigned Kasmir Kaskisuo to the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL. We’d heard a rumor that goaltending change was taking place in Orlando yesterday, when the Solar Bears released their EBUG, Curtis Amado, from playing backup to starter Cal Heeter.
Heeter left his previous game with an injury, but there’s been no word on his condition since. The Solar Bears play this weekend in Allen, Texas, while the Marlies are at home in Toronto.
Leafs send Marlies goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo to Orlando in ECHL. No point having three starters in AHL.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) October 20, 2017
As Mirtle speculates, this seems to do with the fact that with Garret Sparks and Calvin Pickard in the AHL, there’s no real need for Kaskisuo to stay there. Instead, he’d probably get more out of being the undisputed starter for the Solar Bears.
Kaskisuo played 32 games in the ECHL last year, posting a 3.45 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He came into the year looking to solidify the backup role for the Marlies, but obviously that has changed with the addition of Pickard.
The more relevant question for the big club is whether Pickard (or Sparks) replaces Curtis McElhinney at any point as the backup. McElhinney has made one start this year, against the Red Wings. The Leafs won that game, but it wasn’t a strong performance from the backup, who now has two younger and (in my opinion) more capable goaltenders behind him, snapping at his heels. What happens there remains to be seen.
As for Kaskisuo, it’s hard to see a path to the NHL for him, at least not one that goes through Toronto. At least he gets to avoid the Canadian winter for now.