As of right now, the Ontario government has stated that the NHL is the only professional sports league allowed to play. So the Marlies are still awaiting approval to play.
The province of Ontario is currently under a ‘Stay-at-Home’ order until February 9th. Once the order is lifted, there will be a better understanding of when Toronto can start playing. They should also find out if they are going to be allowed to play at home.
Toronto Marlies Will Be Ready
As the team awaits the start of their season, they have been practicing. When the AHL and the Toronto Marlies announce a starting date, the players will be ready to go for opening night.
It can’t be easy to be practicing while your season is in limbo, but we are living in uncertain times. Such unknowns are becoming the new normal as we deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
One of the benefits of continuing to practice right now is the recent call up for Nic Petan. Petan had been practicing with the Marlies when he got the call to join the Maple Leafs for their home series against the Vancouver Canucks.
Toronto Marlies Key Players
When the Marlies do start their 2021 season, these will be some of the team’s key players.
Rich Clune will be returning for his sixth season with the Marlies. Now Clune is not looked upon for pointing up points. He is a leader on the ice and in the locker room. Marlies players, both past and present, have nothing but good things to say about him. He is respected by his teammates and the organization.
Since he failed to make the Maple Leafs roster, the hope is he will play hard and try to earn a call-up. He has played in one game this season for Toronto, but he will need to improve his game if he wants to stay at the NHL level.
Timothy Liljegren is very close to being NHL ready. Once the Toronto Marlies start their season, Liljegren will be part of the top defense pair. He should get plenty of ice time including, time on the power-play.
Last season, he recorded 30 points in 40 games. He will be looking to build on that production. If the Leafs send Rasmus Sandin back to the Marlies, Liljegren will likely be defense partners with him. Otherwise, I can see the Marlies pairing him with Calle Rosen.
Justin Brazeau is a 6’5 220-pound beast who put up 27 goals and 28 assists for 55 points in 57 games for the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL last season. He will be looking to take that next step in his development and find production at the AHL level.
During his final season in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2018-19, Brazeau scored 61 goals and 52 assists for 113 points in 68 games. This kid knows how to create offense. The Toronto Marlies will be counting on him finding success with them this season.
Joseph Woll has the task of being the Toronto Marlies starting goaltender this season. Will he flourish, or will he falter? We will soon find out if the young netminder is up to the task.
His record last season was 11-16-4 with two shutouts. He had a 3.75 GAA and a .880 SV%. Woll will need to be better this season if the Toronto Marlies plan to make the AHL playoffs.
Follow us on Twitter @OT_Heroics for more great content!
Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!
This article is sponsored by Bottom Line – Toronto’s Classiest Sports Bar
main image credit