D Mark Fraser sent to LTIR; Leafs recall F Jamie Devane


Not at all surprising, Mark Fraser was placed on long-term injured reserve Friday morning, allowing Toronto a little bit of salary cap breathing room (it’s sort of disgusting that it’s gotten to the point where player injuries can become advantageous). Rather than call up a defenceman to replace Fraser and keep a seven-man unit going, the Maple Leafs instead decided to call up Jamie Devane.

There was a move that had to be made, and neither was ideal, but the Leafs chose to go with 13 forwards rather than 7 defenceman, at least for the time being, which is a ticking time bomb if somebody gets hurt in warmups. It’s easier to go without a 12th forward than without a 6th defenceman for a full game whether you’re at home or on the road, especially in Randy Carlyle’s system where he tends to pay no attention to his fourth line wingers during the later stages of a game.

Then again, Carter Ashton played with a broken nose in Philly and could probably stand to sit a week, and Carlyle has yet to run seven defenceman in a lineup since taking control of the Maple Leafs. Morgan Rielly will leap into Fraser’s spot and probably get a few looks there before he’s inevitably sent down to Moose Jaw and John-Michael Liles gets recalled.

One would assume, anyway.

Six defencemen is fine as long nobody gets hurt after 5 p.m., or during the morning skate on the road where calling up a player becomes insanely difficult. Swapping Fraser for Devane doesn’t have to be the only move made, and the team can *gasp* make another one tomorrow or on the 9th or 10th when they go off to Nashville. I wouldn’t suspect the team is going to put itself into a position where playing with 5 defencemen for at least a game is a possibility.

Then again, the Maple Leafs Player Personnel Decision Tree indicates that Devane is up simply because Ashton physically can’t fight due to a broken nose. When in doubt, consult the tree. In the short-term though, this does mean Rielly’s first NHL game will likely come Saturday against Ottawa, which is always fun.

  • Back in Black

    The tweet you linked is from a twitter account that states “I don’t know why i cheer for the leafs anymore” what kind of a leaf fan site is this

  • Back in Black

    I think the point is that some teams (in this case a pretty successful one), carry enough quality players that a guy playing 4th line minutes is good enough to be trusted in the last few minutes of a cup final game. In the current Leafs lineup, that’s not the case.

  • The Craig

    Every article you write makes you sound like more and more of a soccer fan theres a reason why Randy Carlyle is a NHL coach and you are a worthless blogger figure it out

    • Back in Black

      Are you referring to Joel Quenneville, or Claude Julien? I’m trying to remember which one got fired.

      Psst, a fourth liner scored the most recent Stanley Cup winning goal in the last minute of a game…

        • Back in Black

          Hey, let’s check. Fourth liners generally get less than 12 minutes of ice time per game. What did Bolland get in Game 6? 10:35. How many Chicago forwards got more ice time than him? 9. That’s one, two, three, yep he was on the fourth line.

          You should really spend more time watching the games, and less time making stuff up.

          • Back in Black

            First, Bolland was generally considered to be a third-line centre and not a fourth-line centre for Chicago. Second, I think if you want to see if a player is a first, second, third or fourth-line player, I would think that even strength ice-time is the stat to look at. In Game 6, Bolland had the seventh highest even strength ice-time of Chicago forwards; he had the ninth highest even strength ice-time in the third period amongst Chicago forwards. This data suggests that Bolland was a third-line player in Game 6.

          • Back in Black

            You’re splitting hairs. 10:35 total ice time. That’s not the third line, and the fact that he wasn’t used on special teams isn’t really a point in his favour.

            Look, Bolland’s a fine player. Having him on the fourth line was (obviously) a contributing factor to the Hawks winning the Cup. It’s Billyb0y’s claim that coaches who play the fourth line in the third period get fired that’s the silly part. Silliest thing I’ve read since, well, WesternDP worrying that if the Leafs don’t dress enough goons the Senators will win.

          • Back in Black

            That wasn’t my claim, check again. I was simply stating that Bolland isn’t a fourth line player, end of discussion.

            You should really spend more time watching the games, maybe you’d know more about the players if you did.

  • The Craig

    @ Wester DP

    “He’s supposed to be pretty tough, but he isn’t…He isn’t in the realm of Kassian, Orr, McLaren or Devane. Even Chris Niel or Kaleta can take Bodie, so there is no deterent”

    No deterrent? Please. Can we stop pretending anybody’s deterring anything?

  • It’s too bad we have to lose Ashton for a stretch, I’ve been liking his fire and energy. I hope he can eventually start to hit the scoresheet, but seeing him stand up for his team and not back down from anybody is very good to see. A great team guy, and still young and able to learn new systems. I’m hoping he can evolve into a good physical third liner who can chip in offensively and brings the boom. Devane is a good call up to replace him, would’ve liked to see D’Amigo too

  • “Then again, the Maple Leafs Player Personnel Decision Tree indicates that Devane is up simply because Ashton physically can’t fight due to a broken nose.”

    It’s a little more complex than that. The Senators will probably dress Matt Kasssian along with Neil and Cowen.

    Matt Kassian is far more dangerous than Philly’s Rosehill or Rinaldo from the previous game. Add in Neil and Cowen and the Senators are not to be taken lightly.

    Devane also played well in the preseason with 2 goals and an assist. I thought they were goin to give him a look in the early season over Bodie.

    • While I agree with you that it’s more complicated, I disagree with the reasoning. Ottawa is one team. Fraser’s gone 3-4 weeks. They need Devane for more than just that.

      Honestly, I’m not supposed to like Devane, since he’s a supposed “goon”, but I had a hard time disliking him in the preseason. He fought a lot, but he actually played well, too. Him and David Broll.

      Personally I’d like to see him in for Ashton at least a few times, and not because of the fighting issue. Ashton’s got a busted nose, he’s playing with a full cage, and he’s not quite used to the size and speed of this league yet. Give Devane a taste, rest up Ashton, and see how it goes.