Carter Ashton Placed on Waivers

The first transaction of the post-Randy Carlyle era has occurred this morning, as 23 year old Carter Ashton was placed on waivers.

This Doesn’t Make Sense

So, a lot of people have looked at Carter Ashton and thought “hey, he probably wouldn’t be so bad without Randy Carlyle in his way”. It’s hard to disagree with that thought – Ashton has spent his NHL career with terrible linemates. After all, it’s hard to produce points as an up-and-comer when you’re on the ice with Jerred Smithson and Colton Orr, who were most frequently alongside him. 

On the other hand, Ashton has produced in spades when playing with the Toronto Marlies, particularly under watch of temporary co-head coach Steve Spott. Last year, he was used as a position-aware sharpshooter and potted 16 goals in 24 games, a very impressive, if not unsustainable total. For this reason, you would think that with Carlyle gone, this is an opportune time to experiment with the lineup and see what he can do in a different role.

This Does Make Sense

But there are more factors in this equation, particularly when we factor for opportunity cost and roster balancing. The Toronto Maple Leafs are up against the roster limit and salary cap, and with Leo Komarov back in the lineup full-time, there’s simply not enough room for Ashton right now.

Plus, if there’s a time for him to clear waivers, this is it. Ashton is just coming off of his twenty game asthma puffer induced suspension, and isn’t quite in game shape. He still has yet to produce anything noteworthy in the NHL, position to succeed be damned. Oh, and most of the teams that we expected to pick off of the waiver wire have made their moves in the past few days. Ashton’s short-term effectiveness is likely not good enough for a team to take a chance on, and the upside isn’t significant enough to take the plunge anyway.

The ideal situation for the Leafs is that Ashton clears, and gets some extended time on the Marlies to bring his conditioning, confidence, and production back up. That way, if they have somebody integral go down, he’s ready to play his best NHL hockey yet.

  • jasken

    Maybe Carlyle was just the start of things to come Ashton is an AHL’er and is going where he belongs. Shanny has sent messages down as to what’s to happen after game 40 and it is happening. Dont be surprised if Kessel, Phaneuf among those being shopped because everyone is available.

  • Bertly83

    Caryle is an old school coach who relies too much on his core.
    He has been bad at developing the young players.
    I agree he hasn’t put Ashton in a position to succeed.

  • jasken

    Get serious, no team will take on Phaneuf’s $7 million per year contract, let alone give up assets to take on that crappy deal. That much money for a 2nd pairing D man will destroy every team’s salary structure. I’m surprised Shanny hasn’t kicked Noonis to the curb for the Clarkson a and Phaneuf contracts.

  • Bleedblueandwhite

    Always remember that the buck stops with the M.L.S.E. board. Thus Nonis is forced to sign Kessel and Phaneuf to huge expensive long contract extensions and is ordered to get Clarkson at all costs. You simply have to understand that the M.L.S.E. board of blue suits and bean counters have as much knowledge as the late crazy Harold Ballard. Is it any wonder then that when a team does not allow the hired professionals the keys to the executive wash room to make the decisions you are on a 48 year string of no Stanley Cups.

    Let me try to simplify it for you. Most hockey observers consider Ken Dryden to be a very bright guy. An intellectual. Quick name one move that Dryden made as president of the leafs. Similar to Shanahan of today he had no power as was a figure head. Why do you think the architects of disaster, namely the leafs scouting staff of the past 10 years led by Dave Morrison are still employed by M.L.S.E.

    The answer simply is that they are part of the old Cliff Fletcher old boys net work that has ruined this club for decades.

    Unless you comprehend who is calling the shots you are strictly whistling in the wind when you discuss Carlyle, Nonis and Shanahan.

  • Bleedblueandwhite

    So based upon Saturday’s Jets game, Ashton was lost on the ice. I thought McKegg play a much stronger and effective game and was relevant. Ashton needs to rebuild his confidence and that’s not going to happen with the Leafs. I think this is a good move.

    If you have been watching the box scores and reading the reports, Frattin has started to regain his scoring touch.

    Frankly, with Panik, the Leafs can afford to play both Ashton and Frattin with the Marlies.