Alec’s Note: Please welcome Marlies writer Clayton Hansler, the newest member of the MLHS blogging team. Clayton has contributed freelance work to Leafs TV and is in regular contact with the Marlies club and personnel. We’re excited to have him. Welcome, Clatyon!
The Ducks play spoiler to the blue and white… kind of. As the Marlies head down the stretch and zero in on the number four spot in the North West, Anaheim pulls a key contributor up to the big club. As if it’s not already hard enough watching talent on the baby buds knowing they’ll never develop into a Leaf.
Kyle Calder, 31,Â wasn’t even a “maybe if” to the Ducks when they sent him down to the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors.Â Â Calder was quickly assessed as being past his prime, over the hill, often used and put away wet.
Enter Brian Burke.
Burkie, with strong contacts in the Mighty West coast head office, pulled his political strings to suggest a move of some of Anaheim’s brightest prospects into the Leafs development club. Brendan Mikkelson, Troy Bodie, Brennan Evans, Brett FesterlingÂ and Kyle Calder have all benefited from this partnership and spent considerable time with the Marlies this season.
With theÂ departure of many veteran MarliesÂ during theÂ off-season, Calder’s primary role was to work with some of the new-comers and help bring them up to professional speed. But no one expected, Calder included, for him to click so well with Leafs hopeful Greg Scott. Kyle’s pace of 0.77 points per game (11g, 13a over 31 games) was built mostly on a lineÂ with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbird graduate. Well dang.
Though Calder isn’t Mr “Make it or Break it”, the forceful graduation of Bozak, Stalberg, Hanson and Gunnarsson left the Marlies a little thin in the offensive column. With the Leafs definitely out of the playoff race (again), the club may consider bringing some of the frat pack back down…. yeah, I didn’t really believe that either. Look for a call-up from the ECHL’s Reading Royals, probably either Slaney or Giliati.
I guess the Ducks can’t make an omlette without quacking a few eggs…