In the second edition ever of what I’ve come to call “Recent Maple Leafs’ Roster Moves,” I’ll concentrate on recent roster moves the Toronto Maple Leafs have made as they prepare to engage in play starting on Friday.
It’s an interesting time in the NHL. It seems that the addition of the taxi squad and the combination of salary-cap issues the Maple Leafs almost always seems to be dealing have created a large number of moves made within the organization this week. Because these moves can be hard to keep up with, 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.
Item One: Goalie Joseph Woll Was Moved Back to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies
Young goalie prospect Joseph Woll was moved down to the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies. Although Woll hasn’t made his NHL debut yet, he does have a goals-against-average of 3.01 and a save percentage of .912 in one AHL game. Woll will likely join the big team’s taxi squad as insurance just in case; however, it’s unlikely Woll will see game action at the NHL level this season.
Item Two: Scott Sabourin also Moved to the Marlies
Scott Sabourin was sent to the Marlies yesterday. He hasn’t played at the NHL level this season and has played a single game in the AHL and had 17 minutes of penalties. How does a player run up that many penalty minutes in a single game? Sabourin ran into the opponent’s goalie, got into a fight, and was expelled from the game – and all this during his first shift. I have a feeling he’s trying to make a point that he can add physicality to the team’s lineup.
The 28-year-old Sabourin played in 35 games with the Senators during the 2019-20 regular season.
Item Three: Alex Galchenyuk Was Moved Up to the Maple Leafs’ Taxi Squad
Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas noted yesterday that Alex Galchenyuk will get an opportunity to see what he can do with the Maple Leafs “in time.” Whether Galchenyuk can reset or not remains in question; but, the once-high-valued Montreal Canadiens prospect did score 30 goals for the Canadiens in the 2015-16 season.
Still, Maple Leafs’ fans can’t fault the 27-year-old Galchenyuk for his work at the AHL level. In the six games he’s played with the Marlies, he’s scored two goals and six assists (for eight points). Dubas picked up Galchenyuk in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes just over a week ago for Egor Korshkov and David Warsofsky. Prior to joining the Hurricanes – it was a paper transaction only, he never left Canada – Galchenyuk had a goal in eight games with the Ottawa Senators.
Item Four: Jimmy Vesey Placed on Waivers
The Maple Leafs have placed Jimmy Vesey on waivers. There’s a chance that, similar to fourth-liner Jason Spezza, Vesey will pass through waivers and continue to play on the team’s fourth line. He hasn’t missed a game all season and has scored five goals and two assists (for seven points) in his 30 games.
Related: What Ever Happened To Rob Schremp?
If Vesey clears waivers, the Maple Leafs have greater flexibility and can move him on-and-off the taxi squad at will. That gives the team a number of other options and could generate some added competition as depth players fight for a spot on the fourth line. At the same time, I’ve heard rumors that the Philadelphia Flyers and the Vancouver Canucks might be interested in Vesey at his $900,000 salary for their bottom six.
[Update: Since this post was written, Vesey was – and there was a rumor – picked up by the Canucks.]
Item Five: Kenny Agostino Is Bouncing Around
Kenny Agostino was moved to the Maple Leafs’ taxi squad on Sunday, but was moved just this morning to the AHL’s Marlies. Agostino has played in only one game with the Maple Leafs this season (and just over four minutes in that game); however, he’s played well with the Marlies and has scored seven points in eight AHL games.
Agostino will likely only be called up to the Maple Leafs if the team were dealing with injuries. He looks like he’ll once again be one of the go-to guys on the Marlies this season.
Item Six: Timothy Liljegren Moved to the Maple Leafs’ Taxi Squad
It’s so hard to tell where Timothy Liljegren will end up this season. Fortunately for the Maple Leafs, there have been no injuries on the defense so he’s been stuck playing well in the AHL. However, he’s was recalled to the Maple Leafs’ taxi squad on Tuesday.
Liljegren adds depth to the Maple Leafs’ defense, but it’s interesting to see if he’ll find a spot in the lineup. The team’s first-round pick (17th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has played well this season in the minors and has scored a goal and six assists in 10 AHL games. In addition, Travis Dermott has been playing well-enough on the team’s bottom defensive pairing; however, he’s only scored a single goal in 26 games during this regular season. Might Liljegren get a chance?
Item Seven: Alexander Barabanov Moved Up to the Maple Leafs’ Taxi Squad
Just this morning, Alexander Barabanov was moved up to the team’s taxi squad. He has played in 11 games with the Maple Leafs during the season, but hasn’t scored a point.
Item Eight: Calle Rosen Moved Down to the Marlies
Defenseman Calle Rosen was reassigned to AHL Marlies on Tuesday and was replaced by Liljegren on the Maple Leafs’ taxi squad. The 27-year-old Rosen hasn’t played in an NHL game this season. He played 12 games last season with the Colorado Avalanche (eight games) and the Maple Leafs (four games).
Item Nine: Semyon Der-Arguchintsev Will Join the Marlies
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, who Maple Leafs’ fans might know because he played on a line with prospect Nick Robertson when both were with the Peterborough Petes, will join AHL Marlies after he completes his required quarantine.
The 20-year-old native of Moscow recently finished his KHL season with two goals and four assists (for six points) in 17 games with the Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo. The third-round draft choice (76th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft is part of a strong prospect pool but is likely a couple of seasons away from having a chance to make the Maple Leafs’ roster.
What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?
The Maple Leafs’ next game is against the Calgary Flames, who have looked much stronger since Darryl Sutter has become their coach. It should be an interesting game, and I wonder if backup goalie Jack Campbell might get a shot in net in Saturday’s back-to-back against the Flames as well. There’s history between Campbell and the Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk (and by proxy Jake Muzzin).
It could be interesting.
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