Rarely is a demotion big news with the maple leafs. The two liner about sending Anton Stralman down to the Marlies for most other teams wouldn’t mean much. However, the fact that Stralman was demoted and not Jamie Sifers is as clear as sign as we have seen for a long time that these are indeed different times in Toronto. Stralman was referred to in today’s paper as a veteran. Sifers, if you remember was summoned to join the team on a west coast trip and has only played a few games for the Buds. The former University of Vermont (GO CATS GO) captain has made the most of his opportunity, being rewarded with over 20 minutes of ice time against buffalo, being the 2nd highest played player on the team that night next only to his d- partner.
Why does this matter? Well, in yesteryear, there is NO QUESTION who would have been sent down, Sifers. It was just the way the good ship maple leaf worked. Sifer’s wouldn’t have been the one to called up in the first place. It wasn’t his turn. What has changed is that he who shows the most effort and ability gets the call. Ron Wilson doesn’t play favorites and has shown his absolute patience for kids in the way he plays them. No matter the situation he throws them out there. The payback, at least so far has been in steady, consistent play. The way it should be.
As a fan this is a great breath of fresh air. One would have to think that the players respect it too.