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Toronto Maple Leafs


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Toronto Maple Leafs

Post by jedi17 on Fri 11 Aug 2017, 8:17 pm

Marincin, Marchenko likely to take back seat to Leafs young blueliners
August 11, 2017, 8:31 PM ET [7 Comments]
Mike Augello
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Earlier this week, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock indicated that veteran free agent Ron Hainsey will be the defensive partner for Morgan Rielly at the start of training camp. That likely means that Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev will comprise the second unit and rookie Travis Dermott is penciled in with Connor Carrick on the bottom pairing.

Nothing regarding what will constitute the Leafs 23-man roster will be etched in stone until the beginning of the regular season in early October, but based on the influx of young blueliners into the organization, it is highly probable that veterans Martin Marincin and/or Alexei Marchenko will make the cut, but should reserve a comfortable seat in the Air Canada Centre press box.

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Toronto added a trio young defensemen in 2017 first round pick Timothy Liljegren, 23-year-old Calle Rosen and 21-year-old SHL Rookie of the Year Andreas Borgman, to go along with incumbents Dermott, Andrew Nielsen and Rinat Valiev.

The organization will undoubtedly want this group of young blueliners to play regularly, either on the NHL roster or playing in the American Hockey League. Even if any outperform Marincin and Marchenko, the pair of 25-year-olds are better suited to serve as reserve defensemen.

Another factor that may be considered is waivers. Marincin and Marchenko both would have to clear waivers to be sent down to Marlies, while Dermott, Nielsen, Valiev, Rosen, Borgman and Liljegren are all waiver-exempt.

The loss of either veteran would not be crippling and is not out of the question if the Leafs want to demote one to take money off the salary cap ($1.025 Million would come off the cap).

The waiver-exempt status of the youngsters does allow the Leafs the freedom to call up from the Marlies, which means that Babcock could shuttle defensemen back and forth on Lakeshore Blvd. and not be forced to play either Marincin or Marchenko if injuries occur.

    Current date/time is Thu 24 May 2018, 4:51 am