It appears that there is a segment of the Toronto Maple Leafs fan base that is beginning to show some signs of frustration when it comes to the decisions being made by their head coach, Mike Babcock.
Early in the week the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they would be without the services of superstar forward Auston Matthews for at least a full month. Following the announcement the question immediately shifted to who would be the forward that would be called up from the American Hockey League to fill the rather large gap left by Matthews' absence, and the answer to that question seemed to please fans of the Leafs' organization.
Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas called up arguably the Toronto Marlies best offensive point producer this season in 23 year old Trevor Moore and naturally fans were excited to see if he could translate his success in the American Hockey League this season to the National Hockey League, against the worst most elite players.Unfortunately it looks like Maple Leaf fans will have to continue waiting due to the fact that head coach Mike Babcock has decided not to use the player called up by Dubas, instead opting to leave him up in the press box as the Leafs play on the road.
Moore has been strong for the AHL Marlies this season recording 8 goals and 4 assists for a total of 12 points through just the first 10 games of the season, and with the lack of secondary scoring from the Leafs this season injecting him into the line up seemed like an obvious move to many. That being said though it's clear that Babcock, a coach who has always shown a propensity for utilizing veteran players over younger more inexperienced talent, does not agree with that assessment and he will be sticking with his regulars when the Leafs face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening at the PPG Paints Arena.
This is made even more disappointing by the fact that the undrafted Moore has never had a chance to play at the NHL level this far in his career, grinding his way into the position he is today through sheer force of will and hard work. It's sad to see a young man miss his chance to play at the NHL level, but hopefully he may get a shot later down the line with Matthews out for so long.