With the preseason nearing its end, the Leafs further slimmed down the roster by placing two skaters on waivers this afternoon.
Kurtis Gabriel (TOR) and Alex Biega (TOR) among those placed on NHL waivers today.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 9, 2021
This is a news that I kind of expected to happen but was surprised it took them this long to go through with it. Both players were likely bound to begin the season with the Marlies, yet they impressed enough to warrant a higher priority on the call-up list in the event one or both will be needed.
Kurtis Gabriel quickly endeared himself to the fanbase with his online personality and his physical play style on the ice. He laid a few big hits and got into a few fights, which is what you would expect from a modern-day enforcer. Gabriel was therefore placed on waivers due to him not being an everyday player in the NHL, but could be of value down the road. He’s definitely earned a second look in my eyes.
Meanwhile, Alex Biega was quietly providing value as a seventh defenceman with a bit of snarl to his game. Sheldon Keefe spoke highly of his leadership and being a solid teammate, which could be useful for a Marlies team that has a lot of younger prospects set to begin their proper first full season in the AHL.
Gabriel finished the preseason with two points in three games while Biega went scoreless in two contests. We’ll find out at two P.M. EST if both will report to the Marlies or be moving elsewhere.