The Maple Leafs announced their final group of cuts today, some surprising, some…not so much. Mike Zigomanis and Keith Aulie have been regulated to the Toronto Marlies. Darryl Boyce, Matt Lashoff, and Joey Crabb were placed on waivers in order to send them down to the AHL. This means that Philippe Dupuis, Matt Frattin and Jake Gardiner are penciled in to the opening night lineup for this Thursdays tilt against the Montreal Canadians. Jake Gardiner seems to be the benefitiary of his excellent play on the back end throughout the pre-season. Ron Wilson met with the media this morning and answered some questions about the cuts that were made today.
“I’d have to say he’s been the biggest surprise of our training camp. Of how well he played, so he’s earned a spot on the team,”
said Wilson, as he spoke of Jake Gardiner and how he made the team this year.
With these final cuts there are a few players that were either beat out by other players for a specific position or just didn’t have an impressive training camp; One of those players was Keith Aulie. Wilson also stated that he didn’t think that Aulie had a “Bad” pre-season, he just wasn’t as good as Gardiner. Darryl Boyce was beat out by Philippe Dupuis for a supposed fourth line position. According to Wilson it was because Dupuis has more experience with penalty killing than Boyce has, and it needs to be better in order to get off to a good start this season. It looks as though Matthew Lombardi will be centring the fourth line for the first game, which will put Dupuis in the pressbox for now; Depending on injury progression, that could change.
This is the final list of players that made the final cut for opening night:
Nikolai Kulemin, Mikhail Grabovski, Phil Kessel, Joffery Lupul, Tyler Bozak, Tim Connolly, Philippe Dupuis, Matthew Lombardi, Colton Orr, Jay Rosehill, Matt Frattin, Mike Brown, Colby Armstrong
Nazem Kadri (IR)
Clarke MacArthur (Suspended 2 Games)
Dion Phaneuf, John Michael Liles, Luke Schenn, Jake Gardiner,
Carl Gunnarsson, Mike Komisarek, Cody Franson