In what promises to be a season-long dance, the Maple Leafs recalled a trio from the AHL Marlies on Wednesday — David Broll, Josh Leivo and T.J. Brennan — while sending back Jamie Devane and Trevor Smith, who were brought up on Monday.
Because Toronto is nudged right up against the salary cap ceiling, the club is expected shuffle players on and off the active roster for much of the season. Earlier this season, Leafs GM Dave Nonis even suggested the team could, on occasion, carry a 20- or 21-man roster — down from the maximum 23 — just in an effort to get cap compliant.
Of the three newest recalls, Brennan is the most intriguing. The former Buffalo blueliner has six points in his first two games with the Marlies and could draw into the lineup.
As for Devane and Smith, the former played just 4:51 in a 2-1 loss to Colorado on Tuesday, and the latter didn’t dress.
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a pair of recalls on Monday, bringing up tough guy Jamie Devane and Trevor Smith, the captain of the AHL Marlies.
Devane, 22, made his NHL debut on Saturday in a win against Ottawa and was then promptly send back to the Marlies for Sunday’s game against Lake Erie, in which he registered an assist.
Smith, 28, joined the Leafs organization this season after spending time with the Islanders, Lightning and Penguins. He was named Marlies captain following training camp and got off to a red-hot start, scoring five minutes in his first two games.
The Leafs play at home on Tuesday against Colorado. It’s unclear if either Devane or Smith will draw into the lineup — the Leafs are expected to be juggling guys up and down from the AHL throughout the season due to salary cap restrictions.
We wrote yesterday about Mark Fraser’s knee injury and how it was expected to allow young defenseman Morgan Rielly to make his NHL debut for the Maple Leafs on Saturday.
As it turns out, Fraser has been placed on long-term injured reserve (per David Alter at 590 The Fan), meaning the big defender will miss at least 10 games/24 days.
In a related move, the Leafs have called up forward Jamie Devane from AHL Toronto.
If you’re curious what Devane’s all about, watch this:
On Sunday, Buffalo Sabres forward Corey Tropp got into a scrap with Toronto’s Jamie Devane. Sabres coach Ron Rolston decided to leave enforcer John Scott on the ice following the incident and Scott promptly attempted to fight Phil Kessel, triggering a full line brawl.
The league decided to fine Rolston for his “player selection and team conduct.” That hasn’t sat well with a number of his colleagues.
“So what am I supposed to do now?” an anonymous coach asked the QMI Agency. “Do I call the ref over and call timeout so I can call (league vice-president of hockey operations) Colie Campbell and ask him who I can put on the ice?”
The coach in question even mused with the idea of refusing to talk to the press after games in retaliation. He’s not alone in his feelings. The QMI Agency had quotes from two other anonymous coaches voicing their displeasure. One feels that the fine “crosses a line.”
For his part, Rolston was diplomatic when his fine was brought up.
“They have to make a decision on what’s best for the league,” Rolston told the Buffalo News. “Those are things we can’t control so we do what is handed down and go from there.”
Still, the ruling seems to have created waves. There’s even reportedly an effort to rally the NHL bench bosses for the purposes of questioning the NHL’s decision.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see if this fine sets a precedence going forward.
The fallout from Sunday’s Toronto-Buffalo melee continues.
On Wednesday, the Sabres announced that forward Corey Tropp broke his jaw in a fight with the Leafs’ Jamie Devane and has undergone surgery to repair the break.
According to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, Tropp will miss the next 5-6 weeks.
The fight, which was the tipping point for a line brawl that resulted in over 200 penalty minutes, went like this:
Devane — who, at 6-foot-5, 217 pounds is about five inches and 20 pounds heavier than Tropp — told reporters following the game Tropp was the one that initiated the fight.
That didn’t stop the Sabres from saying they were displeased with out the tilt unfolded:
According to WGR 550’s Paul Hamilton, Tropp did pass concussion baseline tests.
The 24-year-old looked as though he was in line to make the Sabres out of training camp this year. He had a good 2011-12 season, making his NHL debut while scoring eight points in 34 games, but then suffered a season-ending knee injury during AHL Rochester’s season-opening game in October.
Tampa Bay defenseman Radko Gudas hammered him into the boards late in the third period, at which point Tropp tried to put weight on his leg, but was unable to skate.
Tropp suffered ACL and MCL damage on the play, and underwent surgery shortly thereafter.