Leafs cut roster to 35: Blacker, Biggs assigned to Marlies

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Jesse Blacker and Tyler Biggs will join Marlies training camp after getting released from the Leafs training camp roster today.

Tyler Biggs looked like a non-factor in his preseason game, but Jesse Blacker was pretty good in the preseason opener and I’m a little surprised he isn’t going to get another game. Among those on the outside looking in and vying for a spot on the blue line, Korbinian Holzer, Andrew MacWilliam and TJ Brennan remain with the team. Stuart Percy has not yet appeared in a preseason game but also remains on the training camp roster for the time being. He received plaudits from fans and management alike for being one of the best defencemen in the rookie tournament.

**

From yesterday:

14 players have been reassigned to the Marlies or their respective junior teams today.

One of the more interesting names among them is defenceman Petter Granberg, who I thought struggled in the rookie tournament and didn’t get much better in his preseason appearances. He was hoping to stick around deeper into preseason than he has, but the need for an adjustment period in his overseas transition became immediately obvious. More than anything, he seemed unsure of himself out there; a little behind the pace and often off the mark with his first pass (which came advertised as a strength). This shouldn’t be anything to be alarmed about with a 21-year-old defenceman getting his first taste of pro hockey in North America, but there was some hype about Granberg coming right in and grabbing a spot on the team this training camp.

Jerry D’Amigo was hoping to stick around longer, as well, and is perhaps the most disappointing among the cuts. He didn’t make much of an impact last night, and I think Mason Raymond, Carter Ashton and Trevor Smith all showed more among the bubble forwards. This appears to have been the case in the training camp sessions as well. I don’t think fans were unreasonable to expect a little more from D’Amigo in camp given his age and development time logged with the Marlies. Based on reviews out of camp, Ashton seemed to make the bigger impact since day 1.

Among the others returning to the Marlies, I thought Josh Leivo and Brad Ross both had solid camps with positives to take forward.

The Leafs are also extending the stay of the unsigned Zachary Yuen, the 20-year-old defenceman and former 2nd round pick of the Winnipeg Jets, by sending him to the Marlies camp. He turned some heads in rookie camp and appears to be receiving consideration for a Marlies contract for the upcoming season.

All told, here are the 14 cuts:

Forwards Sam Carrick, Andrew Crescenzi, Jerry D’Amigo, Josh Leivo, Greg McKegg and Brad Ross, defencemen Petter Granberg, Dylan Yeo and Zachary Yuen, and goaltenders Christopher Gibson and Garret Sparks have all been assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

Forwards Frederik Gauthier (Rimouski – QMJHL) and Ryan Rupert (London – OHL), as well as defenceman Kevin Raine (Sudbury – OHL) have been reassigned to their respective junior clubs.

The Leafs have kept some of their big-bodied forwards around to play on their 4th line in the next few preseason games, with Tyler Biggs, Troy Bodie, Jamie Devane and David Broll all remaining on the training camp roster for the time being. I don’t think this should be taken as a sign that all of these players have outshone a player like D’Amigo in the eyes of Leafs brass necessarily (though I think Broll has been good). It’s probably more to do with the fact that there are three preseason games in four days this weekend, there are always fights, and Carlyle wants a big, pugilistic 4th line available to him each night. Frazer McLaren is hurt and Colton Orr won’t make many appearances. Speaking of which, McLaren’s broken finger may open the door for an additional bubble forward to start the regular season.

Maple Leafs Training Camp Roster 2013

Latest Cuts: Stuart Percy, Andrew MacWilliam reassigned to Marlies.
#PlayerPos.#PlayerPos.
* Indicates rookie tournament attendee
31Garret Sparks*G35Drew MacIntyreG
34James ReimerG45Jonathan BernierG
72Antoine Bibeau*G82Christopher Gibson* G
2Mark FraserD8Petter Granberg*D
3Dion PhaneufD12Mason RaymondF
11Jay McClementF21James van RiemsdykF
15Paul RangerD22Joe ColborneF
26John-Michael LilesD23Trevor SmithF
32Josh Leivo*F25T.J. BrennanD
37Carter AshtonF29Jerry D'AmigoF
38Frazer McLarenF36Carl GunnarssonD
39Greg McKegg*F44Morgan Rielly*D
40Troy BodieF47Tyler Biggs*F
41Nikolai KuleminF51Jake GardinerD
42Tyler BozakF52Sam CarrickF
43Nazem KadriF55Korbinian HolzerD
46David Broll*F56Spencer AbbottF
48Brad Ross*F57Andrew MacWilliam*D
49Jesse BlackerD58Andrew CrescenziF
50Stuart Percy*D59Jamie Devane*F
54Frederik Gauthier*F61Dylan YeoD
60Kevin MarshallD63David BollandF
68Zachary YuenD67Kevin Raine*D
69Trevor Murphy* D78Connor Brown*F
71David ClarksonF79Ryan Rupert*F
81Phil KesselF86Matt RupertF
92Carter Verhaeghe* F94Fabrice HerzogF
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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • Dangle_My_Berries

    and the shoe falls…

  • ProfessorRance

    Surprised Abbott is still at camp while d’Amigo was sent down. Abbott’s play style is more geared to the top 6 where we set.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ KingKadri

    I find little surprise here. The roster is just too competitive at the moment for D’Amigo and others to get a look. I expect injuries will change this through out the season. AKA everything we already knew.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    Most of the bubble players that remain are big bodies.

  • Burtonboy

    Not surprised Granberg was sent down . Obviously struggling with the transition to NA ice . I would bet we haven’t head the last of Petter. I expected better from D’Amigo and frankly a bit disappointed with his performance. I did find it strange we hadn’t heard anything about him during camp so I should have put 2 and 2 together on that one but I didn’t. Bit surprised Abbot made the cut but he did play very well in London imo. Very disappointed with McKegg as well. He was virtually invisible in the rookie tournament and wasn’t much better last night. He remains an enigma to me.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    Burtonboy yeah I was very disappointing in D’Amigo’s and McKegg’s play. I expected a lot more. I am not too worry about Granberg, give him some time.

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy Most likely . Holzer actually wasn’t too bad the game he played. We will see what happens with him.

  • Burtonboy

    Ze_theLeafsFan Burtonboy Both are still young so we will see I guess.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Ze_theLeafsFan I don’t think it should be read into as – the Leafs kept Devane but got rid of D’Amigo.
    Basically, D’Amigo has been outshone by Ashton and Smith among those actually vying for a spot on the team.
    The big bodied 4th liners stick around because there’s gonna be three preseason games in 4 days this weekend and there are always fiights. McLaren is hurt and Orr won’t make many appearances.

  • Black_Hawk

    not anything super unexpected though. Maybe RC cut all these guys b/c they pissed him off in practice

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Ze_theLeafsFan I think Raymond is going to get a contract so I’m not sure we have room for Ashton. We will see.  Be interesting to see who they keep to fill for McLaren . Carter Ashton or Broll.  Broll is cheaper but IMO he has to step it up a notch

  • Black_Hawk

    nice to hear that harry neale is joing leafs tv

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe Ze_theLeafsFan Yeah, sorry, I was kind of assuming Raymond has a spot though that shouldn’t be assumed with our cap space and it being early in preseason.
    McLaren’s injury might open the door for Ashton to start the season with the team, but McLaren only makes $700,000… Ashton is what? A million on his ELC? Broll is like $600k. Wonder if that factors in.

  • Burtonboy

    -Keon- Which cut surprised you the most Keon ?

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Ze_theLeafsFan Dollars are  definetly a factor depending on the moves Nonis makes . He needs to make a trade or 2 to make some room . This is just too tight

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Ze_theLeafsFan Thought I guess none of this matters if we never sign Franson.

    lol.

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Ze_theLeafsFan Franson needs to get his head out of his ass. Its not fair whats happened but that doesn’t change a thing and he needs to be playing not holding out

  • Savo43

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Ze_theLeafsFan Any chance we demote Liles?

  • Xxxxxnew

    Agreed.

  • Pent_House

    Based on the game last night, D’amigo shouldn’t have been cut. Probably didn’t do well in the camp though.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    I wanted to see some more of Gauthier

  • Leafs rule

    GeorgeCastanza Me to ,He will be back

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Leafs rule GeorgeCastanza I’ll be watching his junior games if I  and when I can.

  • Pent_House

    -Keon- He didn’t do anything to stand out, but he wasn’t bad. Did his job on the pk. Made a nice dish in the 1st period into the slot for a chance. Was solid holding onto the puck in the 3rd period when he got some more minutes.

  • Pent_House

    -Keon- It’s tough to say as we didn’t get to see the scrimmages and practices. Based on last night, he shouldn’t have gotten cut. They played him on the 4th line, not really given a chance to show what he can do in the game. He’s more of a season player as well if that makes sense. We’ll see how the season goes. I think he’s far from done.

  • Xxxxxnew

    I like Fred but six months ago he was still 17 and has only played one season in the Q. I’d like to see his offensive number jump there this season.

  • Pent_House

    I think the biggest surprises making the cut are abbott and biggs. Head scratchers for me.

  • Pent_House

    Weird that sparks never got a shot in camp but Gibson did.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Pent_House I think Carlyle wants some options for his 4th line in the next few games.  Big guys to have out there in preseason games where there are often fights.
    Maybe the waiver thing is the reason with Abbott, I’m not sure. I don’t really get that one otherwise.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    -Keon- He was mostly invisible for most of last night’s game imo. but I don’t think he is destined to be a career AHLer. He is a standout in the PK.

  • Leafs rule

    GeorgeCastanza Leafs rule Me as well . I think has a future here ,…in time ,a couple of years maybe

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    Pent_House Gibson is new to the organization, they wanted to get a better look at him?

  • Pent_House

    Alec Brownscombe Pent_House You still have Broll, Bodie, Devane, Ashton, Smith, Colborne. If that’s the rationale for Biggs staying, he’s over-kill IMO. 
    As for Abbott that’s a complete mystery.

  • Leafs rule

    Xxxxxnew yes a boy playing in a mans body ,His offence is bound to jump soon lol imho

  • Alec Brownscombe

    -Keon- Is that a case for a few of the other guys who are sticking around for no apparent reason?

  • Burtonboy

    Pent_House Alec Brownscombe I think Gibson and Abbott got a little reward for good play . Still not sure why Sparkes never saw any action . Regardless Abbott and Gibson will wind up with the Marlies before long.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Xxxxxnew “six months ago he was still 17″…..that’s all the more impressive.  Great block of clay for leafs management to work with.

  • likesthelinks

    None of the cuts surprised me except maybe that Bigg’s made this cut.   Glad to see MacWilliam still playing with the big boy’s and Broll as well.   My guess is someone will get the short shot to play as Mclaren recovers.    I can also see a possible trade soon and a few of our prospects may be packaged as I cannot see Nonis not signing Franson.   Someone has to go on defence…..just who????

  • Xxxxxnew

    I’ve been watching the Leafs since the early 60s and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Toronto prospect, particularly at that that age, who was so defensively intelligent. And that’s not even considering his size and the good hands he has displayed. Smart kid, and I’m trying not to get too far ahead in what his upside could be.

  • Leafs rule

    likesthelinks Liles ? lol + thinking a headbanger

  • Pent_House

    -Keon- He was better than Gibson.

  • Burtonboy

    -Keon- I thought he was good in that game . The young guy from PEI had a rough go of it .

  • PeterZeroOne

    Savo43 Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Ze_theLeafsFan The bad part is now we retain his salary minus league minimum against the cap, so there’s little benefit in sending him down cap wise.

  • Pent_House

    -Keon- Sparks? no, he played game 1 and got a win in the shootout. It was bibaeu or however you spell it that lost to Ottawa.

  • mORRganRielly

    I think Devane is the dark horse this year. Fourth line. Can fight, skate, handle the puck, take faceoffs, kill penalties.

  • Xxxxxnew

    Yeah, just turned 18 in April. He’ was at the young end of qualifying for the draft. He already has mastered a lot of the all-round basics of the game that a lot of players don’t grasp until they’re eight years older than he is.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    mORRganRielly …and somehow manages to pop a goal in here and there.

  • Pent_House

    -Keon- they didn’t change goalies in the rookie tourney. Each goalie got 1 game. Sparks game 1, gibson game 2, and bibeau game 3. They didn’t do the half-time switches until nhl pre-season.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Yaknowwhat The elephant in the room.  Thankfully the Leafs current starting six is fairly young.

  • Leafs rule

    Yaknowwhat Mckegg,colbourne, Ross, Gauthier