ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Toronto Marlies and Newfoundland Growlers have signed a flurry of players on Thursday afternoon. In all, nine players will be joining or returning to the Maple Leafs’ organization, with all nine of those players expected to report to the Rock.
Among the signings, Derian Plouffe, Todd Skirving, Garrett Johnston, Nathan Noel, Orrin Centazzo, Marc Johnstone and Brendan Soucie were signed by Newfoundland. Meanwhile, Zach O’Brien and Marcus Power both received AHL contracts.
After taking a small intermission during the 2020-21 COVID season, Noel is expected to join the list of players to play for their hometown Growlers. A fourth-round pick by Chicago, Noel’s last games came in 2019-20, playing with Reading, Indy, South Carolina and AHL’s Rockford IceHogs. The 24-year-old center recorded 28 points through 62 games in ECHL, potting 1o goals and 18 assists. This will be Noel’s first time playing on Newfoundland ice since his days before the OHL.
Holy moly, Nathan Noel…y pic.twitter.com/nl4stZQobj
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) January 12, 2019
Speaking of Newfoundlanders, Power and O’Brien both received contracts from the Marlies. Thursday The two are virtually joined at the hip at this point, seemingly sacred as the Sedin twins. Both played in the DEL2 last season, turning the league upside down and hailing at the top of the league’s leaderboards.
Before playing with Power, O’Brien averaged 0.56 points per game without his sidekick in the past five seasons. Meanwhile, since 2018 and the addition of Power, O’Brien has recorded over 1.35 points per game.
But a shocker as the two bug out of town, EV Landshut is now exploring legal options, claiming the pair are still under contract in Germany:
“We cannot understand the behavior of Zach O’Brien and Marcus Power and, above all, we cannot accept it. Without our knowledge, new contracts were signed behind our backs while we were preparing everything for the start of training. Both still have valid employment contracts with us, which were signed by everyone involved in April of this year. We now intend to exhaust all possibilities under association and civil law in order to avert further, especially financial, damage to the association. In addition, we know that neither of them will return to Landshut, so that we have to reorient ourselves in terms of sport.” said Managing Director Ralf Hantschke, explaining the situation,
“Of course, the decision also surprised and disappointed me and head coach Leif Carlsson. Nevertheless, we are confident that we can find a replacement for both players and have already made the first contacts and held talks in this regard,” adds Axel Kammerer, sporting director of EV Landshut.
Fan favorite Todd Skirving is also back for his third season. Last season, Skirving jumped ship and tried his hand behind the bench, where he was serving as an assistant coach for the Cranbrook Bucks in the British Columbia Hockey League.
Plouffe and Johnston will also be landing in YYT this fall. Both were on the 2019 Kelly Cup-winning squad and, like Skirving, will be back for their third season with the Growlers.
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