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Marlies call up some Solar Bears

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With the break between round two of the playoffs and the conference finals running over a week, the Marlies made some news today by adding players.

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The Marlies don’t play again until Saturday afternoon when they take on the winner of the Charlotte Checkers - Lehigh Valley Phantoms series. With a week to kill, and the Orlando Solar Bears eliminated from the playoffs, they naturally called up some of the AHL-contracted players who have spent most of the season in the ECHL.

Jean Dupuy has played 17 games with the Marlies, mostly as the fourth line centre. He has three goals.

Martins Dzierkals, a Leafs draft pick on an AHL deal, has had a good year in Orlando as a rookie pro. He had 36 points in 51 games there and played in four Marlies games. He should be looking to move up to fulltime AHL work next season.

Max Novak was the Solar Bears star player for most of the season. He leads the team in points with 57, and he only played one game on the Marlies. At 27, he’s a veteran pro, with a lot of AHL experience. He has to also be looking to move back into the AHL for next year.

Alex Gudbranson is a good depth defender who put up some points in Orlando. It seems difficult to imagine the Marlies have room for him now, but he’s only 23, and next year is a whole new ballgame. He has played three games in Toronto this season.

Sam Jardine is a similar calibre of player to Gudbranson, and at 24 is in a similar situation in his career. He is straddling the divide between AHLer and ECHLer.

The Marlies also announced that Solar Bears defender Nolan Valleau has been signed to a PTO. He is 25, put up a lot of points for the Solar Bears as a defender (34 in 41 games), and then went on a tour of AHL teams on loan deals. He just didn’t ever find the scoring touch at that level, but he never played more than seven games on any one team.

It’s not very likely any of these players draw into the lineup, but injuries happen, and they may surprise us.