Photo Credit: Eric Bolte/USA TODAY SPORTS
Two moves were made this morning, one involving the recall of Frederik Gauthier from the Toronto Marlies and the other being the retroactive placement of Mitch Marner on injured reserve. The move of putting Marner on injured reserve means that he will be able to come back as soon as Thursday.
The current debate regarding Gauthier is whether or not he is suitable as a fourth line center. Considering his competition is Ben Smith, it is a rock and hard place scenario. Both don’t bring much offense to the team but are different enough that different groups have different arguments about the players.
Gauthier is a hulking player and Smith is diminutive comparatively. Face-offs seem to be the argument in Smith’s favor. The difference between the two is probably negligible and not worth the conversation. Every little bit counts down the stretch and as they try to find a player to solidify the spot, the debate will continue to rage on.
After Marner’s injury against the Blue Jackets, no one was sure how long the rookie forward would be out. His run in with Boone Jenner looked much worse then it ended up being. While the team has gone on a bit of a slide without him, rushing him back would be a foolish move. His long-term viability is much more important than anything else.
The Marner news is good to hear since it means a short-term return is in the cards. The Gauthier news should elicit an eye roll from anyone following the team. If anything that part should lead to more content from my fellow writers. Gauthier and Smith isn’t going to go away until the off-season.
For now, focus on the possibility of young Marner returning sooner rather than later. That should get you through the week. He is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. It’s nice to have hope in Leafs’ Nation.