Leafs are stacked with options
The return of Clarke MacArthur this Saturday is a no-brainer now that he is sprung from Brendan Shanahan’s penitentiary.
The return of Cody Franson will require another heart-to-heart talk with whichever Maple Leafs defenceman has to sit Saturday against the Calgary Flames.
And the return of injured forwards Nazem Kadri and Tim Connolly? Those may be the two easiest for coach Ron Wilson to delay.
While not exactly an embarrassment of riches for the Leafs, Wilson certainly has some options heading into their third game at the Air Canada Centre.
And with a week between starts, you can expect at least two new faces in the lineup as the team looks to keep its 2-0 slate clean.
MacArthur, who will make his season debut on the wing of the team’s most productive line from last season, is itching to go after sitting out the first two games due to suspension for his pre-season hit on Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader.
“I don’t want to lose my job,” MacArthur said jokingly following a business-like 90-minute practice at the RCAF Flyers Arena here. “That’s why I’m hustling to get back.”
MacArthur has no worry about his employment, of course, and is expected to add a spark to linemates Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski.
But his return, along with the expected regular-season Leafs debut of Franson on the blue line, will force two others out of the lineup. And perhaps for the first time in his tenure here, Wilson has credible depth to influence his decision-making.