Imagine this scenario. You’re in a comfortable spot in your life, offered a job across the ocean, for one of the best companies in your field. Your salary is about 10 times what it is currently, and although you’re going to be the new guy and it’ll take time to get acclimatized, you’ll get to go to a great city.
The only problem? There’s a good chance when you get there, you get to work for a worse company than you already do, for a comparable salary. Also, you don’t speak the language very well, and will immediately be thrown into a situation where you’re fighting every day to get the job you originally wanted, instead of being given the relatively security you had before.
Enter the plight of Igor Ozhiganov and Pär Lindholm.
This isn’t really a general overview of the players, and to be honest, I’m not sure it really matters. But if you’d like to read about Oz, you can do so here.
And Pär can be done here:
To a lesser extent, the same issue comes up with Josh Jooris and Tyler Ennis. Two guys who likely deserve an NHL roster spot somewhere, but very easily could’ve been a member of the PTO Gang.
The crux of the issue:
Both of Oz and Lindholm them were brought in to be given a look on the NHL roster. Why would the Leafs decide that preseason competition is enough of a look?
There is a human concern behind it. Look how happy Lindholm is!
Do you think it makes any sense to just rip that chance away and not give him the shot in the NHL?
You’re only really bringing people in to the organization because you think they could be an upgrade over someone else. Lindholm deserves the shot over Gauthier who could never take the position, as we’ve seen in the past. Ennis deserves a shot over Leivo, who is the default if he fails, or to some extent Kapanen if it’s close. As iconic as Kapanen has had moments with this organization, the truth is he’s a player who’s still rounding out his finishing game. Ozhiganov is likely worth a look before Carrick, who’s been in and out of the roster.
We don’t know exactly how things will shape out, but the Leafs are in a good enough spot that they can keep all of their new signings, Carrick and Leivo without seeing any of them waived.
By pretty much every unbiased account, the Leafs have a playoff spot they’d have to do quite a lot to lose.
We’ve seen Eric Fehr and Calle Rosen been given multi-game tryouts. At best, it works out. At worst, it’s a marginal cost and won’t really affect the team’s big picture. Bring on Oz. Bring on Lindholm.