Tag: Toronto Marlies

New York Islanders v Buffalo Sabres

Enforcer Justin Johnson signs AHL deal with Marlies


The Toronto Marlies have added a little muscle to their roster for the upcoming season.

The affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs has signed tough guy Justin Johnson to an AHL deal, the club announced.

A career minor leaguer, Johnson has appeared in two career NHL games with the New York Islanders during the 2013-14 season.

For those unfamiliar with Johnson’s work, the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder dropped the gloves with 6-foot-8, 259-pound John Scott in just his second NHL game.

Johnson has had a string of 100-plus penalty minute seasons in the minors.

The Anchorage, Alaska native appeared in 45 games with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces last season scoring three goals and two assists to go along with 147 penalty minutes.

Clune is set to attend Leafs camp after signing with AHL’s Marlies

Rich Clune

Rich Clune signed with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, who noted that the gritty winger is also expected to attend the Maple Leafs’ upcoming training camp.

Clune, 28, was already the type of hard-nosed player that fans often get behind, but his soul-searching article with The Players’ Tribune only made him easier to root for.

He really exposed some painful truths in that beautifully written piece:

Between the ages of 15-24, I was not here. I was checked out. I did not exist. Rich Clune the pro hockey player existed. He got in over 150 fights and drove drunk and chased women and laughed and cried and lived in oblivion. But Rich Clune, the kid who loved art and film and read books and thought deeply about life, that guy was just not around. He couldn’t cope with the pressure.

Then one day, he woke up. I wish I could tell you it was when L.A. Kings assistant GM Ron Hextall pulled me aside and said, point blank, “Rich, do you want me to get you some help?” I wish it was when my parents begged me for the millionth time. But it wasn’t like a movie. One day, I just woke up and had enough.

By no means has Clune dropped the gloves after becoming sober. Clune fought 17 times at the AHL level (and once in the NHL’s preseason) during the 2014-15 season, according to Hockey Fights.

He’s been with the Nashville Predators organization since 2012-13, spending last season primarily with the Milwaukee Admirals. He did spend most of 2013-14 with Nashville, however, generating seven points and 166 PIM in 58 games.

The Leafs are going younger and cheaper, yet during this rebuilding process, it’s plausible that Clune might get some NHL reps. He’ll certainly have some people behind him as he tries to do so, too.

Leafs ink Zach Hyman to a two-year, entry-level deal


The Toronto Maple Leafs have inked forward Zach Hyman to a two-year, entry level contract the club announced on Tuesday.

Hyman was acquired by the Leafs from the Florida Panthers last week along with a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017 in exchange for Greg McKegg.

With Hyman signing, the Panthers retain the seventh round selection.

It’s not too surprising that the Leafs were able to come to terms with Hyman. As Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News notes, Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas was an agent with Uptown Sports, the agency, which currently represents Hyman.

The 23-year-old had 22 goals and 54 points in 37 games with the University of Michigan during the 2014-15 season.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hobey Baker finalist was the Panthers’ fifth round selection (123rd overall) in 2010.

The Leafs also announced the signing of defensemen Petter Granberg and Tim Erixon to one-year contracts on Tuesday.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Erixon’s deal is a one-way contract worth $600,000 while Granberg’s extension is a two-way, $600,000 deal.

Erixon dressed in 15 games with the Leafs during the 2014-15 season scoring a goal and registering a minus-5 rating while averaging 15:48 a night in ice time.

The 24-year-old started the season in Columbus appearing in 19 games for the Blue Jackets before being dealt to Chicago in December. Erixon played eight games for the Blackhawks prior to being claimed off of waivers by the Leafs in March.

Granberg appeared in seven games for the Leafs during the 2014-15 season registering a plus-1 rating while averaging 11:27 in time on ice. The 22-year-old also played in 53 AHL games with the Marlies scoring one goal and 15 points to go a long with a plus-14 rating.

He was originally the Leafs fourth-round selection (116th overall) at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Photo courtesy of Uptown Sports

Related: No GM, no problem for the Maple Leafs?

Sheldon Keefe named head coach of the Toronto Marlies

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds v London Knights

Sheldon Keefe has been named head coach of the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies.

Keefe won both the 2014-15 Canadian Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League coach of the year awards after leading the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to a league-best 54-12-0-2 record.

“We would like to thank the Soo Greyhounds ownership group and General Manager Kyle Raftis for giving us permission to approach Sheldon a few weeks ago,” said Toronto Maple Leafs Assistant GM Kyle Dubas in a statement. “As we went through this process, given our goal of finding an elite young coach to develop our prospects with the Marlies, it was clear to our management group that Sheldon Keefe was the best choice for our organization. For nearly a decade – since he arrived in Pembroke and through his time in Sault Ste. Marie – Sheldon has simply excelled at maximizing each players potential while coaching very successful teams at the same time. That balance is exactly what we set out to find for the Marlies.

“We feel we have a solid group of young prospects with the Marlies and we look forward to Sheldon leading them beginning with our Development Camp in early July.”

Dubas hired Keefe to coach the Greyhounds when he was named the team’s GM in 2012.

The 34-year-old takes over as Marlies’ bench boss after Gord Dineen was removed last month. Dineen was offered an opportunity to remain with the club in a different role – there is no word on whether he’s accepted the re-assignment.

Dineen’s assistants Derek King and Ben Simon were also fired on May 19.

According to Frank Seravalli of the Daily News, Toronto interviewed Kris Knoblauch, who coached Connor McDavid and the OHL’s Erie Otters, for the Marlies’ position.

During his playing days Keefe appeared in 125 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning scoring 12 goals and 24 points.

Leafs recall Orr for season finale

Colton Orr

With his contract set to expire and his future in the game uncertain the Toronto Maple Leafs have recalled Colton Orr.

Orr spent the entire season with the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies registering four penalty minutes while appearing in 14 games.

An undrafted free agent signing of the Boston Bruins, Orr has appeared in 476 career NHL games with the Bruins, New York Rangers and Leafs registering 24 points and 1,186 penalty minutes.

Orr was waived along with fellow enforcer Frazer McLaren in October.

The Leafs play host to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night in the season finale.

Given the way the game is headed, it could be Orr’s final NHL game.