While not yet confirmed by the organization, We have learned that the Toronto Maple Leafs have called up goaltender Antoine Bibeau from the Toronto Marlies. In reaction, the Marlies have signed Knick Dawe to an Amateur Try Out contract.
Bibeau has had a pretty decent year with the Toronto Marlies thus far. In 20 games played, he has an 8-7-5 record with 4 shutouts and a 0.917 save percentage. Bibeau has been one of the biggest surprises in the Leafs organization over the past calendar year, going from a slight blip on the radar to the most valued goaltending prospect in the organization. We ranked Bibeau 12th in our midterm prospect chart, up from not being on the list at all.
Dawe is the backup goaltender from the Ryerson Rams of the CIS. He hasn’t played a game since the preseason, and spent last year with the St. Catharines Falcons of the GOJHL. Dawe made a brief appearance in the OHL, playing thirteen games for the Sarnia Sting in 2012/13 while posting an 0.871 save percentage.
What Is Happening?
It’s hard to say. Dawe is obviously a temporary fill in, as he hasn’t played any sort of high level hockey all year. Garret Sparks is obviously far away in Orlando and couldn’t get to the Marlies game quick enough (they’re about to drop the puck against Iowa), though there has been no word on him getting called up beyond today. This was such a last-second move that Dawe isn’t even on the game sheet, and Bibeau remains on it.
Meanwhile, the Leafs are in an odd situation. Jonathan Bernier is expected to start tonight’s game, and James Reimer practiced today with no signs of injury. I guess there’s the off chance that one of them has tweaked something in the last couple of hours, feels sick, or has had a personal situation come up. But in the mean time, this doesn’t help squash trade speculation.
Leaning towards the favour of an injury/personal issue with Reimer or Bernier is the fact that Bibeau is listed as an emergency recall, but if this is a trade, it could mean a goalie is coming back or that they’d prefer that Christopher Gibson or Garret Sparks gets the call up (Gibson is starting for Toronto and again, Sparks is far away) on a longer-term basis.
I guess we’re just going to have to see how this plays out.
UPDATE 3:10 PM: Bob McKenzie believes that Jonathan Bernier is, indeed, not feeling well and might not be able to play tonight. Bibeau, in this scenario, is up as insurance.
Toronto Maple Leafs PR has since confirmed our story, but we were the first to report it.
Photo Courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com