Four Up and Four Down in a Marlies and Leafs Swap

YOU GET AN NHL DEBUT! YOU GET AN NHL DEBUT! EVERYONE’S GETTING AN NHL DEBUT!!!!

The Leafs have called up Tobias Lindberg who will be making his NHL debut. Additionally Andrew Campbell will be making his Leafs debut tonight, and Kasperi Kapanen and T.J. Brennan are returning for another tour of duty. 

Coming Up

Tobias Lindberg

Easily, Lindberg is the player to be excited about in today’s shuffle. Not because he’s the best player coming up, that’s still Kapanen, but because for a lot of us it will be our first look at a good young prospect who was the cherry on top of the Phaneuf trade. 

Lindberg has had 12 points in 19 games since joining the Marlies and overall has 34 points in 53 AHL games this season, his AHL rookie year. Last year the 20 year old was a key member of the Oshawa Generals, before that thriving in Swedish U-20 league.

Andrew Campbell

The Marlies captain is the other player making his Leafs debut tonight, and this is largely in line with what the Leafs have done in previous years, giving the Marlies captain a taste of the NHL as a thank you for what he does in the AHL. 

Campbell, like Brennan is a little older, and is more of a conservative style of defender. It will be interesting to see what he looks like in the NHL now after a year with Sheldon Keefe.

T.J. Brennan

We’ve seen him before, we know what he’s supposed to do, but Brennan’s NHL game never seems to match with his AHL one. Similar to Campbell, this seems to be a “thanks for helping with the kids” stint, that or they are both here because they want some of the key guys who have been with the Leafs to get back to working with the Marlies prior to their playoff run.

Kasperi Kapanen

Obviously we should be excited that he’s back. He didn’t have the best debut with the Leafs in his previous call-up, but certainly no one is going to write him off because of that, and he’s returned to the Marlies and has been one of the main reasons they’ve continued to be a dominant force.

Heading Down

Brown, Carrick, Hyman, and Valiev have all had solid showings with the Leafs, particularly Hyman and Carrick who look like locks for the Leafs next season. 

This move doesn’t look like a slight on any of them, but rather a necessary way of making sure everyone gets a look at the NHL level this year. 

At this point the only Marlies who have not seen NHL time are Colin Smith and Sam Carrick, and with Smith’s success it seems like he too could get a shot at some point in the next week and half, and that should help determine whether he’ll be a part of the organization moving forward.

  • Brent Wisken

    Some people claiming this was done for tanking purposes, but I don’t think so. Likely to provide another opportunity to study the recent call-ups in order to do further analysis and plans during the summer.

    • Gary Empey

      I think you have hit the nail right on the head. Toronto has 48 contracts of the 50 allowable. The roster is getting very bloated with good players/prospects. We have more 12 picks coming. Leafs are negotiating with two KHL players. More USA college players may be coming. Important decisions must be made with UFA’s and RFA’s.

      With the Marlies playing exceptionally well, there must be trade offers coming in already. There will be opportunities to move up in the draft. The Leaf management must have the very best assessment of all their prospects. Watching them perform at the NHL level is one of the best ways to project their future in the Leaf system.

      There are only so many seats on the bus.

      UPDATE- Or maybe it’s a shout-out to TANK NATION.

  • MatsSundin#13

    I like that Babcock and Lou are calling up Campbell to add some grit and toughness to the leafs especially after the Sabres ran rough shot over the leafs the last game.

    Even TJ Brennan has a few fights under his belt in both the AHL and NHL.

    This is a smart move as we need players on the ice to protect the kids.

  • MatsSundin#13

    Wait why is Kapanen automatically better than Lindberg right now? Kapanen has .61 pts/game AHL this year, Lindberg has .64 pts/game.

    And since he was last sent down Kapanen has been in a major rut, so he’s not at all a reason why the Marlies have continued to be dominant. I’d say the Marlies have been dominant recently in spite of Kapanen not because of him.

    In all honesty I thought Kapanen would be a lot better than he has been this year, overtime WJC goal aside.

    Players that are drafted high always seem to automatically get the benefit of the doubt, whereas players who were late picks like Brown are always questioned regardless of how much success they later have.

  • MatsSundin#13

    haha call it whatever you want, but you cannot deny that leaf’s management had “lose some more games” as one of the pros to this transaction. Brown has only played 7 games, so there is no reason why you would send a player like that down for contractual reasons when he just had 3 points the game before. It doesn’t matter why they did it tho!! I like it because I love watching leafs prospects I haven’t seen yet and I love that it may just slow down this rediculous streak the leafs are on.

  • Gary Empey

    “Brown, Carrick, Hyman, and Valiev have all had solid showings with the Leafs, particularly Hyman and Carrick who look like locks for the Leafs next season”

    You specifically mentioned Hyman and Carrick and not Brown!! Brown and Kadri have been the best of all Leaf players since Brown was called up. Brown eats Hyman’s lunch NHL, AHL everywhere! I like Hyman don’t get me wrong but why doesn’t anyone give Brown his due credit?

    Brown outscores the entire CHL and people say it’s because of McDavid (even though he didn’t play on the same line as McDavid and outscored him). Then Brown leads the entire AHL in rookie scoring, people say: “oh he will never translate to the NHL”. He finally gets his NHL break, plays 7 games has 6 points (including late game tying heroics), rarely makes a mistake, works his butt off. And for that he gets sent down and is barely mentioned in a fan blog! Sheesh people! What more can this kid do before someone finally gives him some credit?

    I’m starting the: “Connor Brown Anti-Defamation Association” for fans who want to stick up for this underdog kid no one seems to believe in.

    • magesticRAGE

      Nobody is harping on Brown, he’s like the best story the Leafs have. I just haven’t seen or heard anything bad about Brown other than his size, which has an asterisk.
      It’s just that Hyman has dominated the forecheck in a relentless way. Brown has a good and competitive motor, but Hyman has a couple extra cylinders! I think Brown outscore Hyman in their NHL careers.

  • TGT23

    Wait, but I’m going to the Marlies game on Saturday. I don’t get to see Kapanen or Lindberg?! Ah, man!

    Excited to see Carrick, Brown, and Hyman, though.

    And strangely, I agree with mst. Brown deserves a lot of credit for his play. I think he deserves a spot next season every bit as Hyman or Carrick… Both of which I agree should be near locks next season (not sure where Carrick slots in but find the kid a spot.

    I don’t agree this is some kind of disrespectful move on the Leafs part. Hyman is going down, too. And we know Babs loves the kid. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nylander gets sent down before the end of the season. I think it’s just a shuffle to get players back to the Marlies while giving some others NHL experience and/or a tip of the cap for guys like Brennan.

  • magesticRAGE

    I bet Lindberg will ride with Bozak, and Kapanen will be reunited with Nylander. In the first four games, they fed off each other, and Nylander has been better since.
    I would like to see Gauthier center Lindberg and Greening, that’s a large line.