As of late Monday night, there was no official word the Newfoundland Growlers would be getting a goalie or goalies on reassignment from the Toronto Marlies, but there already been a few transactions involving the American Hockey League's Marlies and ECHL Growlers over the previous hours.
Newfoundland lost a few players to their AHL affiliate, with forward Hudson Elynuik, Emerson Clark and defenceman Kristians Rubins being summoned up a level.
At the same time, forward Ryan Moore was reassigned to the Growlers, although it was really just a paper move. He had remained in Newfoundland since the call-up as the Leafs organization looked for ways to deal with an overflow of ECHL forwards.
Even with Elynuik and Clark off the roster, the Growlers still have four healthy forwards who didn’t dress over the weekend against Adirondack. Besides Moore, there’s Sam Babintsev, Maxim Mizyurin and Todd Skirving.
It’s a situation made more difficult since ECHL teams usually only dress 10 forwards each game (they are permitted just 16 skaters in a lineup). Add in a reluctance to deviate from a winning formula and Clowe has found himself in a bit of a quandary.
“It’s really tough,” admitted Clowe. “You take Babintsev. We really like him as a player. He had nine points in his last eight games. He brings something different to the mix and is an effective player. Mizyurin came in and played with him, fellow Russians … and the big centre got his first goal. Ryan Moore has been a regular most of the year.
“It’s challenging. So I have had to ask for patience from those guys and let them know that they didn’t come out because of their play. You have to be honest with them. They know we’ve got a lot of good players and we’re winning.
“But I know we’ll have to get some of the guys back in the mix pretty soon.”
Pretty soon could be the upcoming road trip, which begins Wednesday night against the Maine Mariners and continues with a pair of games against the Worcester Railers this coming weekend.
The loss of Rubins to the Marlies left Newfoundland with just six defenceman for the time being, although there was an interesting trade Monday involving a rearguard who could conceivable find his way to the Growlers in the future.
The deal saw the Allen Americans send the ECHL rights to Sam Jardine to the Growlers.
Jardine has spent the entirety of this season with the Marlies — he’s signed to an AHL contract with Toronto — but as the 2018-19 season started, his ECHL rights had been retained by the Orlando Solar Bears, for whom he played last season. The Solar Bears eventually traded his rights to Allen, but he has never played for the Americans.
The 25-year-old Jardine has appeared in 19 games of the Marlies 39 games this season, with four assists, 44 penalty minutes and a plus-four rating.