The Toronto Marlies haven’t even practiced as a cohesive unit yet, but with opening puck drop less than 100 hours away, it’s time for the team to come together. With the training camp squad back in town following a string of exhibition games in Newfoundland, the team has announced a stunning nineteen assignments to the Orlando Solar Bears tonight, bringing the roster down to a relatively playable size.
Notable cuts up front include summer signing Nikolai Skladnichenko, who spent the chunks of the past three seasons playing with Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the KHL, and Matt Rupert, twin of Ryan, who remains on the Marlies. In similar “attached to the hip” notes, Christopher Clapperton has headed down to the Solar Bears, while much higher profile QMJHL linemate Frederik Gauthier remains up.
Other reassigned forwards include Joe Basaraba, Erik Bradford, Eric Faille, Brett Findlay, TJ Foster, Matt Hatch, Jack Rodewald, Lindsay Sparks (unrelated to Garret), and Brady Vail.
Predictably remaining with the team, Rupert and Gauthier notwithstanding, is a list that includes Casey Baily, Josh Leivo, and Brendan Leipsic. Enforcer Justin Johnson also remains with the Marlies at the present moment, despite the expectations of some that he would not.
On defence, none of the names totally jump out at you, but there were still many moves. Eric Baier, Zach Bell, Brenden Miller, Max Nicastro, and Reggie Traccitto all head to Orlando, while Justin Holl and James Martin have survived the round of cuts. Justin DaCosta, who was on a PTO, will return to the Brampton Beast.
In goal, Rob Madore will stay for now while Ryan Massa will make his way to the Solar Bears.
These assignments follow the first wave on September 30th, which ended the training camps of Keegan Asmundson, Zach McCullough, Spencer McAvoy, Scott Wamsganz, and Ludwig Karlsson.
The Marlies have added several players from Leafs camp to even out the release of talent. Up front, the team now includes Connor Brown, Richard Clune, Zach Hyman, Kasperi Kapanen, William Nylander, and Nikita Soshnikov.
Viktor Loov, Stuart Percy, and Rinat Valiev return to the team on the point. Garret Sparks and Antoine Bibeau will take precedent over Madore in net as they battle for the starting job over the next few days.
The Marlies hope to add Matt Frattin, Sam Carrick, Bryon Froese, TJ Brennan, and Andrew Campbell tomorrow afternoon if they clear waivers at noon. With that said, they’ll miss tomorrow’s first post-preseason practice, which is scheduled for the morning.