Leafs Return Leivo to Marlies

In an ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING TURN OF EVENTS-

No, haha, I’m just kidding.  In a move that was only a matter of time, the Leafs announced today that they have returned forward Josh Leivo to the Toronto Marlies.  Leivo played a trio of games with the club on emergency recall in the wake of injuries to Leo Komarov, Peter Holland, Nikita Soshnikov, and Brad Boyes.  That means with Leivo being sent back down, one of them appears set to return.

I suppose there was somewhat of a decision to make here given that Connor Brown is also currently playing with the team on an emergency recall designation.  So, the Leafs could’ve sent Brown down instead.  But he scored a huge game-tying goal for the Leafs last night and has 3 points in 4 games.  Plus, Leivo’s now played 12 games for the Leafs this season and 28 in his NHL career.  Brown’s last four games for the Leafs have also been his first four games for the Leafs, so the management team likely wanted to get more of a look at him regardless of who they think is playing better right now.

As for the future of Leivo, part of me wonders if that’s the last we’ll ever see of him in a Leafs jersey.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s played great for the Marlies, and he had 5 goals in 12 games for the Leafs this season.  And obviously he’s still fairly young.  So if the team brings him back I wouldn’t give it a second thought – in fact, given what he’s proven so far in his development and given that he’s eligible for waivers next season, I’d be a little disappointed if Leivo wasn’t on the Leafs next season if he’s still in the organization.

But will he still be in the organization come next season?  He’s a decent prospect, but he’s also one in a slew of young forwards within the organization that are coming up through the pipeline.  I think the Leafs are certainly at a point where they need to start making decisions on some of these guys in order to make room for everybody both at the NHL and AHL level.  Leivo for my money makes more sense than some others as far as trying to ship out in a trade in return for other assets.

Now I’m not under any delusions here, I recognize Leivo’s trade value likely isn’t overly high.  But given his contract status and the state of the organization’s prospect pool up front, trying to get something in return for him – whether that’s a mid-round draft pick or maybe the equivalent of a Leivo-level prospect on defense or in net, might make sense.  And you could always try throwing him in a bigger deal in an attempt to sweeten the pot a little bit.  Again, he’s not gonna sweeten that pot too much, but he does a little bit.  At least a lot more than a guy like Stuart Percy does, who for some reason the sort of people who read Eklund think can be used to swindle another team.

Anyways, I suppose it’ll be a sort of, kind of, maybe vaguely interesting storyline to watch in the off-season.  As for right now, Leivo heads back to the Marlies, Connor Brown stays with the Leafs, and we await to see which Leaf forward is set to return.

  • Harte of a Lion

    Shawn, I have watched Leivo from his draft year with Sudbury, through his domination in the 12/13 playoffs with Kitchener and felt he has NHL level talent. I felt he and Carrick were two players on the 13/14 Marlies who could contribute to the Leafs and am a bit disappointed that Sam Carrick hasn’t been given any more games with the Leafs this year (his injury was unfortunate)

    With that being said, I doubt that the Leafs use all 12 picks they have in the upcoming draft. I see them either trying to trade the Pittsburgh pick plus other picks and prospects to move up to a second top ten pick or take advantage of teams against the cap to grab players like Leddy or Boychuk by offering picks and prospects.

    The team can only carry so many players and right now with the depth that Shanahan, Lamoriello, Hunter, Dubas et al have aquired in the past 24 months, it’s time to begin turning those assets into A-B NHL ready contributors. If you add Zaitsev to the mix on defence next season, I believe that the Leafs have a decent 6 defencemen with the following pairings to start the season…

    Rielly/Marincin

    Zaitsev/Lôov-Gardiner

    Corrado/Valiev

    Gardiner’s value has never been higher and though he has had a decent season, especially after the Phaneuf trade, his brain cramps will never allow him to be a reliable top 4.

    Justin Holl is my sleeper for next years training camp. He is never flashy but is excellent on puck retrieval, has a great stick, is a good skater and can skate the puck to safety, makes a decent first pass, and when on the ice the play is usually going in the right direction. He doesn’t put up huge points but when on the ice the team doesn’t get into trouble.

    • TGT23

      You can’t say Gardiner’s brain cramps stop him from being a Top 4 and then have Marincin on your top pair.

      Also, Gardiner hasn’t had many brain cramps this year at all.

      Finally, why Loov and not Carrick? Just curious about that.

      • Harte of a Lion

        TGT23, for years the Leaf prospect tree has been short of RH defencemen.
        Not sure but I believe Carrick can clear waivers but not Corrado so Corrado starts the season and Carrick starts with the Marlies and can be a call-up if needed.

        Why Lôov over Carrick? Zaitsev is a righty so under Babcocks systems/preferences, you pair a righty with a lefty, a offensively leaning player with a more defensively responsibly partner. Lôov is a good skater who has improved in that area this year. He is heavy on the boards and has a good hockey IQ with the ability to either skate the puck out of trouble or make a quick first pass. He is also famous for his bone-crushing open ice hits. Google Lôov hits and be prepared to smile.I think Seer did a video on him as well.

        After the pickup of Corrado from waivers and Carrick via trade, if we add Zaitsev and Holl, the organization now has 5 right, shooting d-men. (Jesper Lindgren picked 95th in the 2015 draft) the other three d-men selected by the Leafs in the last draft are lefties.

        I know Marincin is a lefty but he has been playing great all season and he and Rielly seem to have developed some great chemistry. He needs to bulk up more this summer and work on his shot but I believe Hunter uncovered a gem for the 4th round pick (#107) we gave up for him.

        I really like both Carrick and Corrado and it makes the future of the team much brighter having both in the system…

        A quick afterthought to my earlier comment, when Nashville can’t sign Jimmy Vesey, I have no doubt that they will trade his rights to Toronto for prospect(s) like Sam Carrick and or Josh Lievo.

  • Harte of a Lion

    For me Sam Carrick would go before Josh Leivo, but both are getting older as far as prospects are concerned and the Marlies need to make room for the next crop taking a step up.

  • Harte of a Lion

    I think leivo, carrick and Percy are gone in throw in trades with bozak/lupul/others in the offseason to acquire young roster players or picks. Percy is pushed down the depth chart. value be remained here before Percy got a second look. Harrington, dermott, carrick all replace him.

  • magesticRAGE

    I think the Leafs need to extend Leivo, he can score goals at the NHL level. Sam Carrick, Percy, Harrington, Arccobello, Boyes, and Ben Smith won’t be back. Leivo should have a roster spot, he fits Babcock’s team mold. He has decent size, speed, good shot, 200ft game, carry the puck, and can play the skill game. He has been more productive than Kapenen, at both levels. Doesn’t make sense to trade him, had more value to the Leafs than apart. KEEP HIM!