The Maple Leafs have recalled defenceman John-Michael Liles from the Toronto Marlies.
The 33-year-old defenceman had three goals and 10 assists and was tied with a team-best plus-9 in 16 games for the Marlies. Not only was he contributing on the ice, but also was a solid source of leadership for the farm team’s youngsters.
“We have been really lucky,” Marlies coach Steve Spott said this week. “Every player that has been re-assigned to us has come with an incredible attitude. It started with John-Michael Liles and Korbinian Holzer.”
The Leafs’ next game is on Saturday night in Ottawa versus the Senators.
Morgan Rielly was a healthy scratch on Thursday night against Dallas, and with Liles’ recall, there has been some speculation that it could mean the Leafs are leaning toward letting Rielly play in the world junior.
But the Leafs don’t have to make a decision on that until at least Dec. 12, when the junior nats’ selection camp begins.
What Liles’ recall means for Mark Fraser, who has struggled, remains to be seen.
Liles fell out of favour with Leafs coach Randy Carlyle last season, and was cut during training camp.
Meanwhile, the Leafs have placed centre Tyler Bozak (oblique) on long-term injured reserve.