The Toronto Maple Leafs have recalled veteran blueliner John-Michael Liles from the AHL Marlies, the club announced on Friday.
Liles, 33, has been buried in the minors for some cap relief of his four-year, $15.5 million deal… of which there are three years remaining (Liles also has a modified no-trade clause.)
The former Avalanche rearguard has played well for the Marlies, scoring three goals and 13 points with a team-best plus-9 rating through 16 games.
Liles’ recall has fueled speculation that Toronto might release 19-year-old rookie defenseman Morgan Rielly to play for Canada at the upcoming World Junior tournament. Rielly was a healthy scratch for Thursday’s win over Dallas and it doesn’t appear the Leafs are in any rush to make a decision on his playing future.
World Jr selection camp opens Dec 12 at MasterCard centre. If the Leafs decide to loan Rielly out there is plenty of time to make decision
— David Alter (@DavidAlter590) December 6, 2013
The #leafs have until Dec. 19 to make a decision about whether Morgan Rielly goes to the world juniors. NHL roster freeze kicks in then.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 6, 2013