T.J. Brennan‘s situation, if there’s ever been one, is solid proof of why teams who keep their AHL affiliates close have the clear advantage.
After appearing on Toronto’s roster earlier last week on an emergency basis, the 25-year-old blue liner has been reassigned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL and recalled by the Maple Leafs within a span of just under three days.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Selected in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Brennan never really stuck at the NHL level — likely due to getting the call-up a little too early in his development — and he’s been bounced between a few NHL franchises (and, subsequently, their AHL affiliates) over the last handful of years.
The Leafs picked him up in exchange for AHL journeyman Spencer Abbott at the trade deadline; since then, he’s been one of the team’s hardest workers. No surprise, then, that he’s pulling double duty — if he continues to do well, the team would be prudent to re-sign him (something the Leafs Nation had no qualms with asserting as well).
Interestingly enough, the Leafs have actually had Brennan in their system once before — something we went over when he was first dealt to the team again this spring — so there may be a stigma against keeping him around as more than just a roster space filler over the second half of the team’s ‘scorched Earth’ season. He’s been willing to pull these double shifts between the Maple Leafs and the Marlies, though — and doesn’t seem to mind acting as a difference maker for both (he’s pulled in nine goals and thirty assists in the AHL this year alone) — so his work ethic may be something the Leafs should want to keep around as they begin their rebuild.