According to the AHL Transactions page, ECHL goalie Drew Fielding has been added to the Marlies roster on a PTO.
He normally plays in Adirondack, New York which is near to Utica where the Marlies play tonight. So there are two possibilities at play.
The simple, and therefore most likely, reason is that either Garret Sparks or Calvin Pickard are injured and the Marlies need an emergency backup goalie who isn’t busy in Orlando getting ready for tomorrow’s game like Cal Heeter and Mackenzie Skapski are. Adirondack has three goalies on their roster, so they should be fine.
The more complicated reason could be that either Garret Sparks or Calvin Pickard are about to be called up to the Leafs and the Marlies need an emergency backup goalie.
This is technically possible for the Leafs to do now that Auston Matthews seems ready to return to the lineup, and the Leafs have a surplus, waiver-exempt forward in Kasperi Kapanen they could send down to make room for a goalie addition. Despite the roster freeze, they actually can send Kapanen down because he was called up after December 11.
But can they call up a goalie during the freeze? Yes, you absolutely can call up players, the freeze part only applies to those on the NHL roster.
So it’s speculation, and it’s likely just a minor injury to one of the AHL goalies and nothing more, but what’s hockey without baseless speculation? If the Leafs do want to tryout a different backup goalie, the post-Christmas road trip is just the time to do it.
Update! They get around to getting the news out eventually:
Garret Sparks trotted into the sick bay yesterday with an illness so the #Marlies have signed Burlington's Drew Fielding out of Adirondack in the ECHL to a PTO.— Todd Crocker (@HockeyCrock) December 22, 2017
Miro Aaltonen has been suspended for a boarding incident on Wednesday. Originally a two minute minor it was reviewed by league and two games was the conclusion. Jayson Megna did not return to the game for the Comets. #Marlies— Todd Crocker (@HockeyCrock) December 22, 2017
This is a two-game suspension for Aaltonen, so he misses tonight’s game and the Boxing Day Classic.