The Toronto Maple Leafs extended training camp invitations to defensemen Henrik Tallinder and Brendan Mikkelson, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports.
Tallinder (seen in this post’s main image) is the most interesting name, obviously. He’s not that far removed from being a valuable blueliner for Buffalo and the New Jersey Devils, averaging 20+ minutes for the most part from the 2005-06 campaign through 2011-12.
That said, he’s not the same guy at 35:
Tallinder’s numbers from 2013-14 were pretty miserable from both “advanced stats” and simple perspectives (-21 rating), but it seems like just about every member of that woeful Sabres team experienced statistical malaise. His days of being a viable minute-eating defenseman are almost certainly over, but that’s not what the Buds are looking for. With Stephane Robidas’ health in question, having some depth wouldn’t hurt.
Mikkelson, 27, is a marginal defenseman with solid size. One would assume he’s getting a look mainly as emergency injury insurance, as he does have 131 games of regular season experience under his belt.
In either case, the Leafs aren’t risking much in taking a look at either guy.