Leafs down another winger; lose Kulemin, recall Abbott; Reimer gets the start vs. OTT

Leafs down another winger; lose Kulemin, recall Abbott; Reimer gets the start vs. OTT

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Nikolai Kulemin broke a small bone in his ankle blocking a shot in yesterday’s practice and will miss 2+ weeks of action.

With Clarkson still on the shelf for 8 more games due to suspension, the Leafs are looking paper thin at right wing all of a sudden. They’ve called up Spencer Abbott to replace Kulemin in the top 9 forwards. Jamie Devane was recalled in wake of Mark Fraser’s injury, as the Leafs have opted for 14 forwards and 6 defence for the time being. Morgan Rielly will step into Fraser’s place, and is expected to play alongside Cody Franson tonight.

Fraser was moved to the long term injured reserve yesterday, freeing up $1.275 million in cap space, which Spencer Abbott ($650,000) and Jamie Devane ($701,000) are now occupying.

An undrafted signing out of the University of Maine who tallied 13 goals and 33 points in 50 games for the Marlies last season before adding 5 points in 5 games in the playoffs, the 25-year-old Abbott didn’t look out of place in his preseason appearances. At 5’9, 170-pounds, Abbott does not bring the same physical and penalty killing elements Kulemin offers night in, night out. He’ll be missed, and the Leafs are going to have to find a way to cope without the depth of their two best two-way, grinding wingers.

The lines seem to be shaping up along these lines for tonight’s Battle of Ontario (just a guess):

JvR – Bozak – Kessel
Lupul – Kadri – Abbott
Raymond – Bolland – Bodie
Ashton – McClement – Orr

Phaneuf – Gunnarsson
Rielly – Franson
Gardiner – Ranger

Reimer
Bernier

James Reimer is expected to get the start in net against Ottawa, an opponent he holds a lifetime 8-1-1 record against.

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]
516 comments
Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Some players like Carlyle

“He (Carlyle) explains everything he does, even if you don’t get the minutes you want there’s an explanation for it, a reason for it,” Kadri said. “And he’ll come tell you personally, it’s not beating around the bush sending someone else to come preach.

“I just like the communication.”

“Before I didn’t really get the impression that I was kind of wanted in the lineup or I really deserved the minutes that I may have gotten,” Kadri said following Friday’s practice. “With Randy Carlyle it’s a whole different ballgame.

“He makes me feel like I belong here and I can be a big contributor here and I feel like that as well. As a young guy I just needed others to believe in me as well.”

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

Off topic. If that response is true I'm sad for the future.

Kevin Paul Dupont @GlobeKPD 1h

Number of friends telling me recently of huge drop in youth baseball numbers in their hometowns. What say you?

 @mannyweston: @GlobeKPD no one wants kid to strike out, end game. Baseball hard. Parents don't want kids embarrassed.”

theacs1966
theacs1966

Wow, Brennen with a hat trick and a helper.  Call him up.

GeorgeCastanza
GeorgeCastanza

Who's the chick in blue with the long legs???


yum

Jordan29
Jordan29

Smiths goal was a rocket. Nice PP

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

4-3 Marlies Trevor Smith gets the goal

mike_84
mike_84

WOW! Brennan has a HATTY!?!?!?!

mike_84
mike_84

i would of liked to see Raymond on the 2nd line. i can see why he's not as it gives them 3 lines to roll instead of 2. I can see lots of mix and matching going on till clarksons back

Jordan29
Jordan29

marlies link? last one pooped 

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

I watched the Marlies last season, and never noticed Spencer Abbott at all. Now he is playing in the top 6 with the Leafs. WTF ?  Thats how weak Marlies are this season----- for forwards ?

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

For kids today sports=Playstation.

Jordan29
Jordan29

@Shift_Disturber1 Honestly, I would say its what happend with me. I was actually really good at baseball, multiple MVPs, took teams to provincial champs and more. But when I turned 13-14-15 I was smarter and realized that it didnt matter how hard I tried I was 99% never going to make it anywhere being in Canada and not wanting to start experiencing with PEDs. More the fact Canadians dont usually make the majors though. I juat lost interest

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Shift_Disturber1 I would assume it's largely because baseball is boring as hell, and far too slow for a generation of ADHD kids. 

MLHS_Luke
MLHS_Luke

@wiski and we wonder why we're endlessly mocked by other fans..

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

@Belfour20 Carlyle is not a well liked coach, from former players. Carlye wants to win games not win friends.

moimoi
moimoi

@mike_84 38 points in last 37 AHL games at defence. He's too good for the league. I wonder if anyone has looked at converting him into a forward?

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

@Shift_Disturber1 Who cares.  So many people selling their stupid words...could care less.  I just want to put my feet up, watch the games and ignore every guy trying to make money writing stuff or saying stuff.  My alone time.

moimoi
moimoi

@mr_hanie The Marlies are terrible up front, it's not even a question. Leivo is the only prospect that has top-6 potential. I like Mckegg, Broll, D'Amigo and Devane but I don't see them as more than bottom 6 guys at best.

djamon
djamon

@Jordan29 I'm not sure how old you are but unless you live in the sticks somewhere, living in Canada hasn't prevented any kid from being drafted in the last 20 years.

djamon
djamon

@Cameron19 I don't buy that 100%. They've been saying the same thing about each generation since I was a kid. It's definitely a slower game though.

But I agree with the original poster...baseball is just very hard. Your failure is very obvious. I coached little league for years and we had a hard time keeping kids from giving up when they didn't achieve immediate success.

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

@Cameron19 @Shift_Disturber1 I can totally agree and see those being reasons.

Sadly I can also see the other being true. The "no one left behind" crowd. Sad

moimoi
moimoi

@mr_hanie @Belfour20 Did you watch his press conference today? The guy seems legitimately nice. In fact he reminds of a guy I work with to a tee, who is a super nice guy. MacA was always a lazy player, and he probably hated Lindy Ruff too. He whines about being benched, I would've benched him a lot quicker than Carlyle did.

peterbleafs
peterbleafs

@moimoi @mr_hanie Exactly right.  No depth up front, which is why Nonis has to lock up the likes of Kessel, Lupul, Kadri, Clarkson, etc.  it will be years before Leafs draft and develop a top 6 prospect.

Jordan29
Jordan29

@djamon @Jordan29 thats cool. I probably could have moved somewhere but didnt feel it was what I wanted. I was pretty good though. I really enjoyed hockey more though, even though I was just an average player through the leagues I played in

djamon
djamon

@Jordan29 It IS tougher on the East coast. I'm on Vancouver Island and we get kids drafted out of my son's league every year. He's 17. In fact, one of his coaches is actually a part-time scout for the Twins.

Jordan29
Jordan29

@djamon @Jordan29 well Nova Scotia lol. I grew up in the group of TJ grant now, Crosby, Marchand, Sheppard and others but none of us made the MLB. Hell we dont even have high school baseball here 

theacs1966
theacs1966

@moimoi @Belfour20 @mr_hanie Well he was an all star Dman for over a decade.  If I was a Dman, I'd be picking his brain all day long, driving him nuts with questions.

moimoi
moimoi

@Belfour20 @moimoi @mr_hanie I was talking about Carlyle actually. I never give a rats ass for MacA. He had one real nice season for us, but the team was garbage. Scoring 20 goals on a bad team is like scoring 10 on a good team. Those guys who put up stats on bad teams out of nowhere, rarely ever repeat their success with a decent team.

moimoi
moimoi

@NotInsane @mr_hanie @moimoi Let's hope so. D'Amigo would've been a good call up too, IMO. I think his game will take a jump when he get's here. Always way better in the playoffs.

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

@mr_hanie @moimoi Abbott was recommended by the AHL group to the Leafs group as the best forward over the last couple of games

moimoi
moimoi

@mr_hanie @moimoi I wondered that as well. Would've come in all piss and vinegar. But I think we've been doing this since Carlyle has been here, the Marlies coaches tell them who to call up. However, I trust Eakins way more than Spott.

NotInsane
NotInsane

@mr_hanie @moimoi 

The choice often goes to the better defensive player.  Abbott is 25, Leivo is 20.  Presumably Abbott is better at the less noticed stuff