TORONTO – Last year, the Toronto Marlies were just six wins from becoming 2019 Calder Cup Champions, being bested by the Charlotte Checkers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Marlies season comes to an end on a controversial play; the whistle wasn't blown on a puck into the mesh just seconds before Charlotte scored the 2OT winner to head to the Calder Cup Final.
Can't blame the missed call for the result IMO. Toronto still botched the counter-attack. pic.twitter.com/xfJtm33PPZ
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) May 27, 2019
The 2019-20 Marlies have many new faces this year and are expected to have a new look for the upcoming campaign. Additionally, the Newfoundland Growlers are fresh off an ECHL Kelly Cup championship, giving many of the players a desire for bigger lights.
— David Nestico (@davidnestico200) June 5, 2019
All in all, this year is shaping up to be a crisp season for the Toronto Marlies.
NUTS AND BOLTS
(2018-19 final regular season stats)
Record: 39-24-9-4 (.599)
Division / Conference Finish: 3rd in North Divison, 6th in Eastern Conference
Playoff Finish: Defeated by Charlotte in the Eastern Conference Finals, four games to two
Record vs. Division: 26-16-9-3 (.593)
Record vs. Conference: 36-23-4 (.603)
Goals For Per Game: 3.20, 10th in AHL
Goals Against Per Game: 3.26, 23rd in AHL
Power Play: 71/325 (21.8%), 4th in AHL
Penalty Kill: 52/277 (18.8%), 14th in AHL
Garret Sparks Out – On July 23, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded goaltender Garret Sparks to the Vegas Golden Knights for David Clarkson and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Toronto now has to find a new back-up goalie to replace Sparks or promote within. The Maple Leafs are expected to utilize former Marlies goalie Michael Hutchinson in the role.
Marlies Sign Nick Baptiste – The Toronto Marlies signed 24-year-old forward Nick Baptiste to an AHL contract on August 15. In February, he was traded from Nashville to Toronto for future considerations. He played 31 games total last year, scoring only eight points.
Marlies Re-sign a Multitude of Newfoundland Growlers after Kelly Cup Win – Following an impressive performance in the top ECHL stage, the Toronto Marlies resign many of the leaders in that playoff run which include: Scott Pooley, Matt Bradley, Hudson Elynuik, Brady Ferguson, Zach O’Brien, Giorgio Estephan, Marcus Power, Kristians Rubins and Alex Gudbranson.
Head Coach Sheldon Keefe on receiving suggested reading material from Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas (from September 24):
“I believe that if you’re really going to succeed, you have to continue to learn and try new things.”
Pontus Aberg – At 26 years old, Aberg brings a lot to the table. In 2017, he became a regular in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, helping the Nashville Predators reach the finals against Pittsburgh, where they would lose in six games.
Ben Harpur – At 6’6″, Ben spent the majority of last year with the Senators, and brings many seasons worth of AHL experience along with him. With his imposing size and hulking mass (223 lbs.), the view for opposing skaters resembles a CN freight train barreling down the tracks. Harpur can do some damage given the opportunity.
Dmytro Timashov – Every year, Dmytro scores more and more points (24, 34, and 49 points for the Marlies the past three seasons), and this year won’t be any different. Fans can expect the same caliber or higher regarding his near-50 point season in 2018-19.
GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Jordan Subban – Now in the EBEL in Austria. Though he only spent 48 games with the Marlies last year, Jordan brings an offensive-defensive balance to the table that is noticed around the league. Last year, he scored 18 points for his hometown team and did not participate in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Chris Mueller – An assistant captain last season, Mueller signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the offseason. At 33, he was a point-per-game player last year. With his departure, there also goes his experience as a two-time Calder Cup Champion and an NCAA title.
Calle Rosen – Maybe one of the best defensemen in the AHL, Calle was just about a point-per-game player last year. He signed with Colorado for $750,000 in the offseason; he’s expected to report to the Avalanche in the NHL.
SIN BIN SWAMI SEZ…
The Marlies looked great the past two years, but all good things must come to an end. Toronto as an organization is growing, but unfortunately, there’s no place to grow. They lost key figures in the offseason, and the replacements are suitable, but not as good as those departing. Maple Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock virtually controlled the prospects when he was with Detroit, and look at the mess they had to clean up on his way out. Without a doubt, the Marlies will make the playoffs, but don’t expect them to go far. Swami Sez a second-round exit.