Gambrell out, Frasca returned, and Timmins needs to be consistent: Maple Leafs News and Notes
Photo credit:Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff
By Jon Steitzer2 months ago
We are now at the peak of preseason. Waivers are opening today, and cuts are coming. The Leafs made a small one which we’ll get to in a minute but the long and short of it is that if there is such a thing as excitement around the preseason this is where it begins to ramp up and we can begin to debate the pros and cons of opposition players hitting the waiver wire (if John Klingberg is going to be out for a bit the Leafs might actually consider something here otherwise don’t hold your breath.)
Here’s a few news items from the Leafs on Thursday:
Like I said the cut process has begun and Jacob Frasca gets the distinction of being the first player to leave the Leafs camp. Given that he turned a development camp invite into a rookie tournament invite into a pro cut that is a pretty decent for the 6’4 20 year old centre. Expect the Leafs to keep a very close eye on him in Barrie this season and he’ll be a player to watch for a contract this spring.
Connor Timmins did a lot to show that he’s ready to step in for Klingberg as long as he’s out and there is some good awareness on what needs to come next for Timmins. Rounding out his defensive game is going to be important, but to say that he has a long way to go to replace Klingberg in that capacity is a stretch. Moving Liljegren up to the second pairing would already give the Leafs a better defensive second defensive unit and Timmins can be a strong offensive option in the third pairing. The Leafs might still want to keep Timmins with McCabe though to have a bit more balance on the Giordano/Liljegren pairing and to not make significant adjusts in what will be asked of McCabe when it comes to his role covering his partner. Either way, if Brodie and Liljegren grab a few extra shifts a night and the Leafs shelter Timmins a little he could be an interesting option.
I’d also say that if the Klingberg injury is significant we’ll eventually see Morgan Rielly return to the top powerplay unit, but until Toronto knows what they are dealing with from an offensive style perspective the Leafs may wish to try Timmins in the Klingberg spot on the powerplay to remain consistent in strategy.
Dylan Gambrell is another new Leaf that has had some unfortunate injury luck during training camp. Given that Sheldon Keefe had been deploying Noah Gregor on the fourth line and Gambrell has been centering a pair of likely Marlies, this injury is most unfortunate for Gambrell who would have been trying to make his case for the 13th forward spot or leaping past Gregor if he isn’t able to keep up his strong initial showing in camp so far.
Gambrell is a player that requires waivers to get to the Marlies and one the Leafs might have a more difficult time sneaking through waivers if they are forced to waive him after the season starts and more teams are looking to bolster their centre depth at that time.
We can expect more of an update on Klingberg in the near future and it will be interesting to see if Brad Treliving’s strategy around waivers differs from the approach that Kyle Dubas took in previous years.
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