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Mitch Marner retroactively placed on LTI, Marshall Rifai recalled from the Marlies

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Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
19 days ago
The Leafs made a move that they deemed to be for roster management reasons as Mitch Marner was retroactively placed on LTI.
As a result of the opened spot, Marshall Rifai was recalled from the Marlies. While it would make reasonable sense to call up a forward in a situation like this, the fact that it is a defenceman seems to suggest that perhaps some blueliners are not at 100% and Rifai’s presence is for injury insurance in case one of the healthy regulars can’t play tonight.
Because Marner is set to miss his ninth game tonight, the retroactive placement on LTI means he is eligible to come off tomorrow and will be cleared to play this upcoming week. He has been making key strides in his recovery of late and appears to be eager to return to the lineup as soon as he can.
His return will only mean great things for the team who have no doubt missed him despite producing a winning record going into tonight’s game against the Sabres. Marner could be back as early as Wednesday since he was already deemed out for Monday’s tilt versus the Panthers but the determining factor is in how things fare at practice on Tuesday.
This is Rifai’s second stint with the Leafs this season after he was called up last month while the team was on a road trip and were without Morgan Rielly due to his suspension. He appeared in the first two games of his NHL career where he went scoreless before being sent back to the Marlies once Rielly finished serving his sentence.
In 15 games since returning to the AHL, Rifai has produced six assists which has bumped up his season totals to 17 points (two goals and 15 assists) which has him placed fourth among Marlies defenders in scoring. The fact he has now been called up multiple times this season speaks volumes to how highly the organization views him in their long-term plans and that we could be seeing him with the main group more often sooner rather than later.
The Leafs will take on the Sabres on Hockey Night in Canada, with puck drop set for 7 p.m. EST.

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