In this rather odd edition of what might be named Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’m going to concentrate on recent roster moves that the Toronto Maple Leafs have made as they prepare to engage in play starting this weekend. Perhaps it’s the addition of the taxi squad and the combination of salary-cap issues the team almost always seems to be dealing with, but there were a number of moves made in the organization this week. In this post I’ll concentrate on what those moves have been as a way to help Maple Leafs’ fans better keep up with their team.
Move One: The Maple Leafs Didn’t Dress Travis Boyd for Thursday’s Game
The Maple Leafs didn’t dress Travis Boyd for Thursday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. Boyd came out of the lineup so that Kenny Agostino could make his first start as a Maple Leafs’ player.
Move Two: Kenny Agostino Was in the Maple Leafs Lineup for Thursday’s Game
Kenny Agostino was part of the Maple Leafs’ lineup for Thursday’s game. Agostino has been a great player with the Marlies for the past two seasons, and this season he’s scored two goals and five assists (for seven points) in eight AHL games. Last night was his Maple Leafs’ debut.
However, it wasn’t the first time Agostino has suited up in the NHL. To date, he’s played 85 career games in the NHL, bouncing around with the Calgary Flames, the St. Louis Blues, the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens, and the New Jersey Devils. He’s totalled eight goals and 22 assists (for 30 points) in those 85 NHL games. He took Travis Boyd’s place on the team’s fourth line and played 4:08 minutes.
Move Three: Mikko Lehtonen Was Loaned to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies
There were a number of player moves between the Maple Leafs and their AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies on Thursday. In one pretty clean move Mikko Lehtonen seemed to simply trade places with Martin Marincin. I have no doubt that the Maple Leafs want to have Lehtonen play more extensive minutes if he stays in the minors. Someone with his track record should be able to become impactful with an NHL club; however, he might need more game action on North American ice. He should get that in the AHL.
[In an update since this post was published, it was announced that the Maple Leafs has shipped Lehtonen to the Columbus Blue Jackets for goalie Veini Vehvilainen. More information later.]
Move Four: Nick Robertson Moves Up to the Team’s Taxi Squad
Nick Robertson was promoted to the Maple Leafs’ taxi squad on Thursday. Of the Maple Leafs’ changes to their taxi squad players on Thursday, Robertson was part of the group of players moving up. It’s hard to know if the move is just a paper move or if the team wants to have another look at Robertson as part of the team’s middle-six.
Move Five: Calle Rosen Moves Up to the Taxi Squad
Calle Rosen was promoted from the Marlies to the Maple Leafs’ taxi squad on Thursday, where he will add depth. The 27-year-old Rosen has – to date – played 20 NHL games and has scored five points. He might get a chance to play.
Move Six: Alexander Barabanov Was Sent to the AHL
Alexander Barabanov was also reassigned to the AHL’s Marlies on Thursday. Again, it’s tough to tell if this is a paper move or if Barabanov has fallen out of grace with the Maple Leafs’ team administration. Similar to defenseman Lehtonen, it might be that the Maple Leafs’ organization hopes he’ll have a chance to get more experience on the North American ice and he might assume a larger role with the Marlies where he gets increasing minutes.
Move Seven: Nicolas Petan Was Assigned to the AHL
Petan was assigned to AHL Toronto on Thursday. Petan has played in seven Maple Leafs’ games this season and has recorded an assist in his fourth-line action. He’ll be available for call up in needed with the Maple Leafs.
Move Eight: Timothy Liljegren Was Reassigned to the AHL
Timothy Liljegren was reassigned to the Marlies on Thursday. Thus far this season, Liljegren hasn’t played a game at the NHL level. However, the 21-year-old Swedish defenseman will continue to gain experience in his fulsome opportunities with the Marlies. He seems to have been having a strong season there thus far.
Move Nine: Goalie Joseph Woll Returns to the AHL
Joseph Woll was reassigned to the AHL on Wednesday but then recalled to the Maple Leafs’ taxi squad on Thursday. His rapid movement up-and-down likely has to do with backup goalie Jack Campbell’s injury status. If Campbell had been ready to play for Thursday’s game, there’s no doubt Woll would have stayed connected to the Marlies. Obvious, Campbell is not quite fully healed.
Move Ten: Martin Marincin Moved to Maple Leafs’ Taxi Squad on Thursday
Martin Marincin was promoted to the Maple Leafs’ taxi squad from the Marlies on Thursday. The 29-year-old Marincin will become a depth defenseman stationed on the taxi squad. The 6-foot-5 Slovakian player has bounced around between the AHL and the NHL for several seasons and has totalled 227 NHL games, scoring five goals and 29 assists (for 34 points).
The Old Prof (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for more than 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He’s a Canadian boy, who has two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing with his hockey cards and simply being a sports fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors, and CFL football (thinks Ricky Ray personifies how a professional athlete should act).
If you wonder why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son – who’s also Jim Parsons – wrote for The Hockey Writers first and asked Jim Sr. to use another name so readers wouldn’t confuse their work.
Because Jim Sr. had worked in China, he adopted the Mandarin word for teacher (老師). The first character lǎo (老) means “old,” and the second character shī (師) means “teacher.” The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher.” That became his pen name. Today, other than writing for The Hockey Writers, he teaches graduate students research design at several Canadian universities.
He looks forward to sharing his insights about the Toronto Maple Leafs and about how sports engages life more fully. His Twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf