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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rielly to return Tuesday? Liljegren returns to the Marlies

Earlier tonight we saw the activation of Cody Ceci from the Injured Reserve, that was immediately followed by the announcement that he would be playing  tonight against the Ducks.

There were initially reports that Rasmus Sandin would be the lone defenseman out tonight, but that was soon dismissed by this…

So that explains why the Sandin is classified as the lone defenseman out, as Liljegren is now off the Leafs roster.

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The cut of Liljegren isn’t at all surprising, as he seemed to be enjoying the least amount of confidence from Sheldon Keefe, despite not looking bad in his limited usage, but that limited usage matters. Keefe has been willing to lean on Marincin and Sandin at different times, and has a certain level of comfort with Calle Rosen as well, and putting an aggressively offensive defenseman like Liljegren on the ice with another rookie partner like Sandin might have been a little too much at this point.

Whether it’s this season or the start of next, we’re going to see a lot more of Liljegren in the future though.

Part of the reason for shuffling Liljegren down sooner than later is, well, the fact the Marlies can definitely use him against Syracuse tomorrow night, but also the fact that there will soon be another defenseman joining the Leafs…

While I’m not entirely sure how Ceci’s recovery impacts the return time for Rielly, Paul Hendrick isn’t someone who is going to wildly speculate, and what he says is something the organization wants said. Rielly is a strong possibility for Tuesday night, and having him back at the Lightning is big deal.

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With Muzzin, Mikheyev, and Johnsson still out, the Leafs aren’t facing any cap crunches related to returning players, so any player the Leafs feel like keeping around will be able to, so unless Kyle Dubas really wants one of Marincin, Rosen, or Sandin on the Marlies, I’d expect to see the Leafs play around with their pairings to determine what will work with Ceci and Rielly slotting back in.

After a disappointing road trip it’s hard not to be pumped about Rielly, but having to wait for more Liljegren is a modest bummer.