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.


110 Responses to Leafs are stacked with options

  1. frankinboltonleafs says:

    Connolly wasn't solving the 1st line C issue anyways. Better if he were hurt half the season to give the younger guys experience. I can see Connolly being a point a game guy on a 40 game season. That's playoff worthy. (Not like we're winning the Cup with Connolly right?).

  2. Leafs_Wallace says:

    Did you read anything I posted this summer? Preaching to the choir Frank.

  3. Leafs_Wallace says:

    Leafs to play actual regular season hockey game this weekend (E3)

  4. 93killer93 says:

    Dallas would have to take komisarek to stay above the salary floor. 

  5. mojo19 says:

    Did you guys read anything I read this summer?! We are a playoff team.

    And ya, Connolly is a softy. I stand by that he's just the type of guy who won't play through injuries. The team says he's day to day, and he says "hey, woah, don't like rush me back, man." Not impressed.

    I don't really, fully get your Franson comment though word. He's gonna play tommorow night, maybe you should watch him play a bit then make comments. This guy will impress. That's a mojo guarantee.

  6. mojo19 says:

    haha, I think a lot of people are feeling that way. This guy did not do a good job to warm up to Leafs fans. And its a long climb back. Leafs fans make up their minds quickly and change slowly.

    Best thing Connolly can do is get healthy and start producing as soon as possible. No one will care if he scores his first goal in November, but if he scores one next week he might earn some fans.

  7. Leafs_Wallace says:

    Yes, yes and you said they Leafs would suck last season going into the year, you're the other guy on this site that is usually right.

    I was just alluding to the fustration of the Franson deal not really address any of our needs.  It was Burke saying look how cute I can be with Lebda.  It's like a card trick, not sure how it happened but in the end all you can say is yeah that was my card/oh greaingt it's another defensman, BFD.

    First line forwards or die, that's the lens Leaf Nation need adopt IMHO.

  8. leafy says:

    Don't debate with Wallace. He's a real piece of shit. Just thought I should warn you.

  9. mojo19 says:

    I hear you. But any way you slice it, Lombardi and Franson for Lebda and Slaney is a huge win for Burke. Maybe the magnitude of the trade was blown out of proportion under the Maple Leaf microscope, but it was still an addition of 2 guys who can actually contribute for 2 guys who absolutely couldn't.

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