Please don’t read too much into this. Then again, it honestly doesn’t matter if you do.
Earlier this morning, the Maple Leafs opted to recall Schrodinger’s defenceman, Martin Marincin, from the Toronto Marlies in an effort to fuel the theory that the hulking Czech is somehow both in the NHL and AHL at all times. Seriously, it depends on the day.
Marincin has been sent down and subsequently called back up by the Leafs a combined six times over the past two seasons. They’ve waived him on three separate occasions during that span, too, with Marincin passing through unclaimed each time.
Frankly, I wouldn’t be shocked to learn Marincin chose an apartment that rests at the EXACT halfway point between Scotiabank Arena and Coca-Cola Coliseum. For convenience sake, of course. No one likes a needless commute.
You know what, though? I don’t think you’re getting the picture here.
Marincin yo-yos between levels so frequently that he should just wear one of those weird hybrid jerseys that moms with kids on two separate Peewee teams create to appear “neutral”. But we all know who your favourite is, Karen. Klaxxon never gets featured on your (shockingly active) Facebook page for a reason.
But I digress. Marincin is officially an NHLer once more — if only for a fleeting moment.
Beginning tonight in Philadelphia, the Maple Leafs will play five of their next six upcoming games on the road. And, with road trips, so too come injuries. Marincin is merely sticking around to provide some insurance. The lanky, analytically-inclined type of insurance that sparks meaningless Twitter debates centring around the merits of zone-entry denials that ultimately impart zero value on all involved.
We truly do have some healthy discourse in this fine sport.
The weirdest part of the whole Martin Marincin Experience is that it’s really that not weird at all. As a bottom-of-the-lineup stopgap, Marincin is an otherwise perfect option. Everything about him screams “Serviceable 7th D”.
In seasons during which Marincin logged over 20 games, his CF%/60 at 5v5 has hovered in or around the low-50’s territory despite zone-starts splits that are roughly even. Give him a healthy heaping of sheltered minutes, and Marincin brings size to the lineup, can keep up with an NHL pace to some extent, and is an active participant on special teams as to ensure his presence isn’t totally useless.
Not to mention, the fella is an AHL god.
Whenever Marincin finds himself on the Marlies — which, again, depends on the day — he’s legitimately among the cream of the American League’s crop, racking up points at a blistering pace while exhibiting a level of confidence that makes you wonder if we’re witnessing a Parent Trap situation in which Marincin has swapped himself out with his identical (and assumedly British) twin. Only, AHL Lindsay Lohan is extremely good at hockey.
And, of course, there’s Sheldon Keefe, under whom Marincin enjoyed his best professional season in 2017-18. With Keefe now behind the Leafs’ bench, Marincin will at the very least benefit from a modicum of familiarity in the event he actually sees the ice.
Only time will tell on that one, though. And I’m sure you’ll all be waiting with bated breath to find out.