The Leafs have moved Nikolai Kulemin onto long term injury reserve, freeing up $2.8 million in cap space which they’ve used to call up some extra personnel in Josh Leivo, David Broll and TJ Brennan.
While I’m still a little peeved about Kadri’s 13 minutes of usage last night, calling up an inexperienced but skilled enough top 9 option like Josh Leivo is a good call given the options at the Leafs disposal. With wingers Kulemin and Clarkson out of action for a significant number of games still, Carlyle has been playing one of Orr or Bodie next to Kadri or Bolland consistently, and Leivo might give either Kadri or Bolland a little more to work with.
We’ll have to see if TJ Brennan gets a game or not, or if this is more of a symbolic reward for his bright start with the Marlies. Brennan has 4 goals and 6 points in 2 games with the Marlies, including a hat trick in the season opener. Brennan played the majority of last season in the NHL with either Buffalo or Florida, so the Leafs do kind of have to keep this guy interested. Who would come out of the rotation for Brennan, is the question.
Michael Stephens wondered on yesterday’s hangout if someone like Brennan may be the defenceman Bob McKenzie could have been referring to when he told TSN Radio of the Leafs‘ interest in flipping a blueliner for some forward help. The Leafs have plenty of defensive depth options, but are relying on a rotation of inexperienced guys on entry level contracts, outside of Bodie, to fill the gaps up front. That we’re already in this position four games into the season thanks to injuries and suspension speaks to a need for perhaps another depth forward with some experience in the NHL.
David Broll, who has two assists in two games with the Marlies, seems to be a substitute option for Devane on the 4th line as the Leafs continue to await the return of Frazer McLaren. Devane has been sent down to the Marlies along with Trevor Smith, who was up to fill in (for 5 minutes, anyway) for Jay McClement at 4th line center while McClement took the night off of killing penalties to witness the birth of his new baby boy.