April 23, 2015
TORONTO – The Toronto Marlies spent the majority of their season without a captain. They will have to do the same when the playoffs start Saturday against the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Troy Bodie suffered a hand injury April 1 against the Chicago Wolves and it sidelined him for the remainder of the regular season. His expected time line for a return was four to six weeks.
Marlies head coach Gord Dineen was wishful to have him back on the ice for the playoffs, but the 30-year-old winger was absent from practice Wednesday and will most likely miss the entire first round against the Griffins.
“There is the possibility of Troy coming back, I don’t know about this round but the extended future,” said Dineen.
Toronto spent the majority of its season without a labelled captain because Trevor Smith was summoned to the Maple Leafs and never returned. Bodie was named Smith’s replacement on Feb. 22 after it was evident the former captain wasn’t coming back.
Alongside Bodie, forwards Sam Carrick and Matt Frattin were serving as alternates at home while on the road defenceman Andrew MacWilliam wore an A instead of Carrick.
With Bodie out, Dineen elected forward Greg McKegg and defenceman Brendan Mikkelson to wear a third A on the ice in his absence.
“We’ve been blessed all year, we lost Trevor Smith and rotated A’s,” said Dineen. “We have a group of leaders who stepped up without a C on their chest.”
Toronto’s first game of the season, Smith was captain, with defenceman Korbinian Holzer and Bodie as alternates. Forwards Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren, as well as defenceman T.J. Brennan have also worn an A some point this season.
In total, Toronto played 52 games this year without an identified captain.
“We got a lot of different guys who lead in different ways, that’s what carried us through the dark times earlier in the year,” said MacWilliam.
“Even the young guys, they’re working hard, they’re doing their thing. It’s inspiring.”
The Marlies practiced for the first time Wednesday after ending the regular season with a seven-game win streak on Sunday.
Early indications point to 21-year-old winger Jack Rodwald being Bodie’s replacement in the lineup for Game 1.
Defenceman Stuart Percy skated, but did not take part in team practice. His status is currently unknown.
Forwards Tyler Biggs and Jamie Devane and defenceman Kevin Marshall are all unavailable to play. Each of the three have undergone season-ending surgery for various injuries.
Toronto hosts Game 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday before the best-of-five series shifts to Grand Rapids for Game 3 on Wednesday.