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Bringing up Brent a nice touch by Leaf management

Sometimes in pro sports, teams miss opportunities to do the right thing.

Last night, though, the Leafs did a classy thing in calling up Tim Brent from the Marlies for the last game of the season.

Brent was a second-round draft choice of the Anaheim Ducks in 2002. Many will remember him as part of of Canada’s national junior team, back in 2003. He has played NHL games with three different organizations—four after last night. At 26, he’s not old, but it seems to be harder to get a serious look at the top level if you haven’t established yourself by that age.

He’s a hard-working player who had a standout junior career with the old Toronto St. Michael’s Majors. He was signed by the Leafs in the off-season, but was then hurt in training camp,

When he returned, he gave the AHL Marlies a real jolt of energy—and put up some nice numbers, too.

The Leafs gave him a look Saturday night, and he earned more than 13 minutes of ice time. I’m not suggesting this is enough to warrant a spot next year, simply that it was a nice touch by the Leafs to reward a player with a great attitude who has been a contributor to the Marlies.

He may just have earned a more serious look at training camp in September, as a potential 4th line guy.


Another touching moment last night was the Leafs (followed by the Habs, who had a little celebrating to do first) each shaking the hand of long-time (and highly respected) NHL referee Dan Marouelli, who worked his last game last night.

I liked Ron Wilson’s comment before the game, when reporters were trying to get him to say something about the importance of the game to the Leafs, as in “Isn’t it important to end the season on a positive note…”

Rather than pretend the game was meaningful to the Leafs in any real way, Wilson basically blew off the question by saying—let’s be honest, we’re trying to manufacture some emotion here.

Last night’s game was important to Montreal—full stop. The Leafs gave what they had, but Wilson’s right: it’s manufactured emotion. It was the last game of a long, difficult season. They won (it’s always better to win) but it won’t mean a thing come October.


Phaneuf’s two late-season goals may help provide a sense of relief for those of us who were wondering if this guy with the “big shot” was ever going to score in a Toronto uniform.

It’s always good to score, but again, it’ll mean more when he does it early next season, when there’s a lot more on the line.  Toronto Maple Leaf Blog

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