After enjoying his much-deserved holiday, Cliff Fletcher will sit down with Brian Burke in early January to structure his new role within the organization as per the man himself. It is expected he’ll assume a role in the senior adviser capacity.
From the Leafs:
“Jeremy Williams and Jaime Sifers both will be back in the lineup on Friday against Buffalo as Niklas Hagman and Mike Van Ryn are not expected back until next Tuesday at the earliest.
Van Ryn and Jonas Frogren both skated as extra defencemen at practice Wednesday. Maple Leafs forward Jamal Mayers, out with a broken hand, skated near the end of practice.”
Jeremy Williams has made a habit out of wowing at first blush and he certainly impressed again Monday night against the NY Islanders. His assist, by the way, was more impressive than his actual goal. Last year, when he had more of a lengthy stay with the big club, he seemed to disappear after scoring in his season debut. It was probably largely a result of where (4th line) and how often he was playing. One can assume Ron Wilson will reward his fine play Monday night with increased ice-time Friday.
Not to get too far ahead of myself here, but should Jeremy Williams continue to impress, you have to start to wonder if he belongs with the Leafs on a more permanent basis. He has pro-level vision and offensive instincts. Obviously, it will be contingent on his consistency. A club in a re-building phase should be willing and able to make room for an up-and-comer if he earns his keep. Williams appears to be a 7th round steal in the making.
Jaime Sifers was also impressive in his own respect. The fact that he played 17 minutes (including some PK time) as a defensive defenseman in his first NHL contest is promising to say the least. He’ll face a sterner test than the tepid Isles offense this Friday against Buffalo.