NYI claim Keith Aucoin from TOR.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 17, 2013
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the Toronto Marlies.
With the NHL lockout coming to an end, the Toronto Maple Leafs called up a number of players to take part in their training camp, leaving the AHL club a little short-handed. The Marlies are dealing with the losses of goaltender Ben Scrivens, forwards Ryan Hamilton, Nazem Kadri, Matt Frattin and Keith Aucoin and defencemen Mike Kostka, Korbinian Holzer and Mark Fraser.
Yesterday, the Maple Leafs placed four players on waivers, but one of those players didn’t make it through. AHL veteran Keith Aucoin, who ranks fifth in AHL scoring with 37 points, was claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders. While the Marlies will get captain Ryan Hamilton back, they will miss the play of Aucoin, who’s just three points away from becoming the ninth leading scorer in AHL history.
— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) January 17, 2013
The Marlies have lost two of their last three games and currently sit in second place in the Western Conference with 47 points. Obviously the loss of players is nothing new for an AHL club, but after signing Aucoin to a contract this past summer, they expected to have him in the lineup for an extended playoff run.
Resiliency is a big part of being in the American Hockey League because the make-up of a team can change drastically throughout a season. It’s never easy to lose key players, however, especially in net. The Marlies will be relying heavily upon goaltender Jussi Rynnas to make up for the absence of Scrivens.
The Marlies are in the midst of a six-games road trip that included an interesting stay in Newfoundland. A huge snowstorm hit the city of St. John’s, forcing the game against the Ice Caps to be postponed and the players to be stranded inside. But the team took it in stride and came away from the two game set with a win and a loss.
Despite the uncertainty of which players will be suiting up from game to game, the Marlies are still a talented group. And overcoming adversity is the mark of a great team, something the Marlies are having their fair share of at the moment.