The Toronto Marlies have an 11AM home game today. Why? Because they hate logic (actually, it’s a school day game, something they do a few times a season). To some, this isn’t very interesting on the surface (if it is? We’ll have a recap on TheLeafsNation), but a bit of an eyebrow raiser came in the form of Craig MacTavish being in attendance.
I can’t tell you exactly what he’s here for, but this is what we do know.
- The Marlies don’t face Edmonton’s AHL affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons for another three weeks.
- Oklahoma doesn’t face San Antonio until March 2nd
- If he’s scouting a Panthers prospect, there are multiple other opportunities to see San Antonio in Canada ahead of the Trade Deadline (17th and 23rd in Hamilton, 22nd in Toronto)
- If he’s scouting a Leafs prospect, the Marlies play ten straight games at home through March 2nd.
- With the Oilers in the middle of an Eastern road trip (Sabres/Rangers/Devils), this is a convenient time for him to check in on some players he’s interested in. Given the amount of New York-based teams in the AHL, however (including games in Binghamton and Rochester tonight), it’s unlikely that this is watching hockey for the sake of watching hockey.
- The Leafs have a home game against Vancouver on Saturday night., but I don’t think it’s likely he’s here because he plans on keeping tabs on that game as well.
- Edmonton and Toronto don’t face each other for the remainder of the season.
- The Edmonton Oilers have five players and the head coach of the 2011/12 Marlies roster, and there’s still two guys from that team wearing AHL blue and white today (Korbinian Holzer, a defensive defenseman, and Jerry D’Amigo, a utility bottom six winger).
- The Oilers just acquired Mark Fraser from the Toronto Maple Leafs a few days ago.
- MacTavish has been a regular at Ricoh Coliseum for several years, even as his role and employers changed.
What does this mean? I couldn’t tell you for certain. But it’s a thing that happened, if nothing else.