Placing Tyler Bozak on Long Term Injured Reserve freed up the cap space to call up defenceman John Michael Liles on Friday.
Trying out someone with his puck moving ability and experience on the backend couldn’t hurt based on how the team has been struggling to get out of their zone.
Liles has 13 points and is a plus-nine in 16 games in the AHL this season, and has been a favourite of head coach Steve Spott’s for taking the demotion so well and eagerly embracing a leadership role on a young Marlies team.
What does it mean for Morgan Rielly? Well, if he isn’t playing consistently come decision time for the World Juniors (December 19th), it’s hard to imagine him staying. The Team Canada option remains open. It will depend on the situation in a week and a half, one imagines.
Excited for the all-electric Battle of Ontario tonight in Kanata! Let's go Leafs! Hope they can keep up the hard work and that Liles can spark the team. If your interested in another take on tonight's game check it out here; http://www.gcconnected.com/battle-of-ontario-warrants-new-blog/
WOW !! just read a column by Steve Simmons on how Carlyle doesn't trust some of his players, and plays others who he does trust, even if they stink the joint out. Mostly , Simmons gets only negative feedback on his columns , but overwhelmingly, the comment section totally supported his analysis . So do I. Before any of you start firing salvos, remember...even a broken clock is right twice a day . Anyway, its a good read, an accurate assessment, and if nothing else , reinforces that our coach is a mighty stubborn man . At the back of my mind is this: Nonis did NOT hire Carlyle . Nonis is here for the foreseeable future . Not so sure about Randy.
This could mean most anything. This time, though, Liles will surely log some minutes . He could get traded, or, maybe someone else gets the ticket out of town. I don't think Fraser is tradable at all , given he has a two year deal, and has struggled mightily . Both Franson and Gunnar are very tradable, as they have clear upside, and also have struggled. Ranger ? Maybe. Rielly is untouchable , so its just a question of where he finishes out the year. Most of you feel the world juniors would be a good idea for him, and I agree . A little disappointing to read that Matt Finn is described as having a nice all around game, but little physical oomph to it. I have watched a bit of Guelph on tv this year, and that's what I see, too. My guess is that Stuart Percy is a carbon copy of Finn..ie good prospect, lacks physicality .To me, one of those guys has to go, so you try to move them in a package. We already have enough lovers on the Leaf defence. And Liles is a lover, not a warrior. Andrew MacWilliams, if he has the game he showed glimpses of earlier in the fall, could be the next significant Leaf defence addition. I know zip about the Swedish guys , but I doubt they are close. In terms of overall team toughness to play against, you need to be thinking about what MacWilliams can bring to the table, not Percy, Finn, or even Liles. Yes, I know that the defence is poor at skating the puck out of danger, but we are awfully easy to play against in and around our crease. Just against Reimer and Bernier. I guess I forgot to mention Gardiner. He goes nowhere unless its a blockbuster trade. Guys like Jake don't occur every day, and he will eventually be a solid top four defenceman. Whew...done now .
@HeatherRickAkin Fraser is UFA at the end of this season.
I know, really. He won't be the second coming of Carl Brewer, but at least he can move the freakin' puck.