TORONTO– If the Toronto Marlies win the Calder Cup, it will have to be done without the service of leading scorer Matt Frattin.
Frattin will miss the Calder Cup finals against the Norfolk Admirals, which start on Friday, after finding out he needs surgery to repair a damaged knee.
“Matt Frattin is done for the playoffs,” said Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins after Tuesday’s practice wrapped up. “He sustained a knee injury that will require surgery. I have no time line for rehab and that kind of stuff. All I know is he won’t play again this season.”
The 24-year-old injured his knee in Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Barons when he crashed awkwardly into the net after scoring his second goal of the night.
Frattin’s absence is a huge blow to the Marlies as he leads AHL playoff scoring with 10 goals in 13 games. Dating back to the regular season he has 27 goals in 46 contests as a member of the Marlies.
The Edmonton native was playing on both the number-one line and the top unit on the power play before going down and it won’t be easy to replace the offensive spark he brings to the AHL club.
It’s unclear who will take Frattin’s spot in the line up, however Greg McKegg skated on a line with Phil Dupuis and Nicolas Deschamps.
The timing couldn’t be better for McKegg, a 2010 Leafs’ draft pick, who joined the Marlies on Tuesday after wrapping up his junior season with the London Knights.
“He’s a guy whose junior season is over and he’s an option,” said Eakins. “He’s played at a high level over the last few weeks and that bodes well for him.”
The only sign of good news that came from Tuesday’s practice was that defencemen Korbinian Holzer and Mark Fraser took part in full team drills after resting on Monday.
Mike Zigomanis skated on his own but didn’t stay on the ice when the team arrived.
Marcel Mueller and Carter Ashton skated in non-contact jerseys and still aren’t cleared to play yet while Nazem Kadri did not skate at all and Eakins stayed tight-lipped about his status.
The Marlies will practice once more in Toronto before flying to Norfolk Wednesday afternoon.