Some of the players wearing blue-and-white jerseys at the Verizon Center last night might get a taste of post-season hockey after all, even if the Maple Leafs don't reach the playoffs.
Forwards Robbie Earl, Kris Newbury, Jeremy Williams, Jiri Tlusty and defenceman Anton Stralman, five players who suited up against the Washington Capitals last night, have been included on the Clear Day roster of the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies, which was released yesterday. That means they will be eligible to play for the Marlies in the post-season.
According to AHL bylaws, only 22 players listed on a team's Clear Day roster are eligible to compete in the remainder of the AHL season and in the 2008 AHL playoffs, unless emergency conditions arise as a result of recall, injury or suspension.
Along with the aforementioned five players, the Marlies' Clear Day roster consists of goalies Justin Pogge and Scott Clemmensen; defencemen Bryan Muir, Chris Harrington, Phil Oreskovic, Jay Harrison, Jaime Sifers, Derrick Walser, Andy Wozniewski and Staffan Kronwall; and forwards David Ling, Brent Aubin, Alex Foster, Ben Ondrus, Bates Battaglia, Colin Murphy and John Mitchell.
Meanwhile the Marlies yesterday called up defenceman Reid Cashman and Todd Perry from the ECHL's Columbia Inferno.
THE REAL DEALS
Asked what message general manager George McPhee was sending by bringing in goalie Cristobal Huet and forwards Matt Cooke and Sergei Fedorov at the trade deadline, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau broke into a big grin.
"He has proved to Caps fans that he'll do whatever he can to help us go as far as we can," Boudreau said.
Boudreau is encouraged by the energy the aging Fedorov has injected into the Caps.
"It was amazing the spirit he brought to the bench," Boudreeau said. "We were looking at him as a hockey player, but the support he brings for our youngster is an added bonus."