With the Marlies training camp opening tomorrow, do you think they can repeat or even improve on last season? It is possible.
Last season the Marlies finished third in the league behind the Oklahoma City Barons and the Norfolk Admirals and made it all the way to the Calder Cup finals. In the finals the Marlies lost Matt Frattin, Mike Zigomanis, Nazem Kadri due to injury not to mention the injuries Joe Colborne fought through. If the Marlies were healthy with the offense they had, the D, and exceptional goaltending by Scrivens, they could have given Norfolk a run for their money. In the end though they did not win, but they won the hearts of Toronto hockey fans and had an amazing season overall.
Now for this season, they did lose some players but for the most part they are the same team. With the NHL lockout, the players that were supposed to make the jump like Kadri, Frattin (once healthy), Holzer, Gardiner, Scrivens etc. were invited to training camp and are most likely staying with the Marlies. They did lose some valuable players like Philippe Dupuis who was a big part of the Marlies success, but they also picked up some players, Mike Kostka who scored that over time heartbreaker in game three of the finals, Dylan Yeo who was with the Barons and some NHL talent in Paul Ranger and Keith Aucoin.
The Marlies are benefiting from the lockout but so are other teams. Jeff Skinner has been sent to the Checkers, Brayden Schenn to the Phantoms, and let’s not forget that the Barons are stacked. They were awesome last year and on top of that they gained, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, and soon to be Taylor Hall. The Marlies do have a great team but look at all the young NHL stars that are going to be playing in the AHL.
The Marlies are a powerhouse team in the normal AHL but how will they do against teams with great NHL talents? We will have to wait and see and always Beleaf in the blue & white! Even the AHL version.