The Toronto Maple Leafs have set their roster ahead of the season opening against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
The Toronto Maple Leafs roster includes a couple of surprises.
By keeping Garrett Sparks and Martin Marincin on the roster, the Leafs answer several of the most pressing questions facing the team at present.
Connor Carrick, Curtis MacElhinney and Calvin Pickard have been placed on waivers.
Toronto Maple Leafs Set Line-up
With Carrick and the two goalies cut, that means that Martin Marincin has made the team, along with goalie Garett Sparks.
Sparks making it isn’t surprising and should have been a foregone conclusion to anyone following the team. You just don’t give away the best goalie in the AHL because he had a couple of rough preseason games. In the end, the younger guy with the higher ceiling and talent level always had the edge, and the Leafs are making the right move here.
I also like that Martin Marincin made the team. He gets a bad rap because he has no offense to balance out any mistakes he might make, but he is a generally a solid, if unspectacular, bottom-of-the-lineup NHL defenseman. At 6’5 he also adds a size element that the Leafs are missing.
With possibly the best left-side in the NHL (Rielly, Gardiner, Dermott) the Leafs don’t really look to even have a spot for Marincin, but he is a competent number seven.
As for Carrick, I have long argued that his stats warrant a longer look higher in the lineup, but the Leafs do not seem to agree. He’s a small player on a small team, so his status as a fringe player put him at risk do losing out to bigger players (Marincin) and more physical players (Ozhiganov).
Personally, my belief is that risking Carrick on waivers is a mistake. The Leafs are light on scrappy players, defensively strong players, and right handed D. Carrick, who is the same age as Rielly, has earned a shot and I think this is a bad move.
Because of size, game style and contract (Carrick makes a $1.3 cap hit) I understand cutting Carrick from the bottom of the roster. I think he should have been given an opportunity to make the team over Zaitsev and Hainsey, both of whom I think he is better than, and whom replacing should probably be the Leafs biggest priority.
Holl and Gauthier
Justin Holl and Frederick Gauthier represent two of the biggest surprises out of camp. Holl deserves an opportunity and right now he seems like the best bet to usurp icetime from Zaitsev or Hainsey.
Gauthier has been terrible whenever he has been in the NHL, but on a team starved for size and physicality, he is a sensible choice over players like Trevor Moore or Pierre Engval for the final roster spot. He is likely gone too, once Nylander signs, which should be soon.
So to sum up: I like that Holl is in, and even though I don’t agree with Carrick, it doesn’t really matter what I think anyways.