With the tinkering that inevitably comes with a full NHL roster and guys coming back from injury one of two things happen. You reassign players to the farm team or you invariably seek out trade partners. Lets face it, no one wants to be sent down and I was glad to see in the instances of Frattin and Lupul coming back, the Maple Leafs were able to make trades sending Mike Brown to Edmonton (good luck Brownie, definitely going to miss your compete levels and those sweet sweet chops) and faceoff wizard David Steckle sent to Aneheim where he is reunited with former Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau. Coming back the other way were a conditional 4th round pick in 2014 (becoming a 3rd round pick if Edmonton makes the playoffs) for Brown and a 2014 7th round pick and a player (Ryan Lasch) for Steckle.
There also appeared to be signs that the Maple Leafs may in fact be gearing up to trade one or more of their defenseman before the upcoming deadline when they sent Marlies forward Nicolas Deschamps to the Washington Capitals organization for Hersey Bears defenseman Kevin Marshall earlier this week. That being said this could also just be a simple case of getting the best possible player in return for an upcoming UFA that hasn’t yet reached the scoring potential he displayed in his QMJHL days. So who are these new additions and what do they bring to the table for the Marlies possible playoff run.
Kevin Marshall was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 NHL draft, 41st overall by the Philidelphia Flyers posting some monsterous +/- numbers during his QMJHL stays with both the Lewiston MAINEiacs and the Quebec Remparts where he was captain. The 24 year old Boucherville, PQ native appears to be a strong stay at home defenseman with a physical side to his game (looking at his PIMS, think a Mark Fraser like player), decently sized at 6’1″ and a shade under 210 pounds; Hockey’s Future said ‘He skates very well, has excellent balance and moves the puck efficiently’
Ryan Lasch was a pivotal cog in St Cloud State’s success during his tenure where as an underclassman he was named a Hobey Baker finalist in 2008. A member of the 2012 USA World Championships squad in Helsinki, the 26 year old 5’9, 175 pound undrafted centre/winger originally started his pro career in Europe. Although this could have been just a body trade to level roster sizes out in the recent trade, given the expression of his playmaking ability here is hoping that he at least gets a shot to join the Marlies for an extended look.
There is most likely a couple more trades coming in the coming weeks especially with the trade deadline looming in the next three weeks so it was nice to see some bodies coming back to the Marlies that will most likely be able to fill in for some who will be lost or at minimum give coach Eakins more to work with.