Leafs Send Down Froese and Recall Casey Bailey From the Marlies

In advance of the game against the Rangers on Friday, the Maple Leafs have made a couple of moves to shake up the lineup. 

So by every account it appears that Froese will be back on Friday night. He was taking regular line rushes at practice today, and Babcock has been up front about his intention to keep Byron in the Leafs lineup. 

With Bozak scheduled for a return on Friday, it’s either Peter Holland or Mark Arcobello who will find themselves without a job in the very near future as Kadri and Spaling aren’t going anywhere. 

While Holland hasn’t been statistically bad for the Leafs this season, he doesn’t seem to be sitting well with Mike Babcock, according to Jonas Siegel’s recent article on TSN:

Holland was scratched for the first time this season over the weekend, returned to the lineup with Nick Spaling sidelined on Monday. Joining the Leafs two years ago from Anaheim, he hadn’t been scratched all of last season.

“Some guys, when you’re in third and fourth line, you’re on a tryout [every day], that’s just the way it is,” Babcock said.

“He showed me some clips,” Holland said of the coach, “and obviously I watch the games too and there were some plays in Buffalo that neither one of us was happy with. And it obviously it cost me a spot in the lineup in Montreal.”

In the event that the Bailey recall is more than just a cap move, the Leafs will be adding a winger who has two assists in three games played with the Marlies this season. With the Leafs now having a surplus of centers, it would make sense to add a winger if it is in fact their intention to use him. If Gardiner and Bozak return to the lineup and Froese is recalled, the Leafs would still have enough space on their active roster to keep Bailey up unless Spaling is also ready to play for Friday.

Of course what we are also seeing is the Leafs being savvy to the CBA and salary cap for the first time in a long time. Brandon Pridham and Loophole Lou Lamoriello are taking the necessary steps to maximize the space acquired by putting Horton on Long Term Injury Reserve by recalling one of the more expensive options from the Marlies. Bailey moves the Leafs $350k closer to the cap ceiling over keeping Froese in the lineup.

It seems likely that this is a paper move and we’ll probably see them more frequently. It also seems that we will be seeing Marlies on a regular basis and Leafs in the bottom six of the roster probably shouldn’t consider their jobs safe. 

For a season that is likely to be heavy on the losses, this is going to be what passes for excitement, so I’m interested in seeing how this all plays out. 

  • Gary Empey

    “The Leafs dominated the possession game 44 to 30 corsi events.”

    “Three even strength goals” ” In the NHL you almost always win with 3 ES” “If the Leafs keep this up, victories will come”

    “Tyler Bozak is close to returning, but the Leafs do not need him.”

    “Holland (despite being a healthy scratch recently) is a positive possession player who hasn’t played poorly at all.”

    I keep reading this sort of stuff from some other sites. It makes me wonder if some of these writers are really watching the games.

  • Gary Empey

    The key aspect of the LTIR provision is that it only allows a team to exceed the salary cap ceiling by the amount it needs while a player is out. It was therefore more beneficial for the Leafs to be as close to the $71.4-million cap as possible when it was invoked.

    With Bailey due to earn $337,500 more than Froese in the NHL this year, the move put Toronto within $88,333 of the cap ceiling, according to capfriendly.com. Horton’s $5.3-million annual deal was then placed on LTIR, which permits the Leafs to exceed the cap by more than $5.2-million for the remainder of the season.

    This sounds like a trade may be in the works.

    • magesticRAGE

      I do hope it’s Acrobello and not Holland. Holland has size and skill, where as Acrobello lacks the size and hasn’t played like a top 9 forward. I think with time, Holland will supplant Bozak as the 2nd line center.
      …unless it’s Bozak who might be going? Leafs may take a bad contract and pick in return. Interesting…