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Will anyone give T.J. Brennan a shot?

Jun 30, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT

TJ Brennan Getty Images

T.J. Brennan was the AHL’s defenseman of the year in 2013-14. Just 25 years old, he led the Toronto Marlies with 72 points (25G, 47A) during the regular season, then added 14 more points in 14 playoff games.

Yet according to the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle, the Maple Leafs merely have “some interest” in re-signing the pending unrestricted free agent.

So…what gives? How has such a prolific AHL scorer been unable to crack an NHL roster? How has he already been traded twice, first by the Buffalo Sabres to Florida, then by the Panthers to the Leafs?

The easy answer is, despite his obvious offensive ability, he’s not very good in his own end. Think Marc-Andre Bergeron. Or Yannick Weber.

But that’s not the answer Marlies coach Steve Spott gave.

“I have no problems with his defensive game,” Spott said in May. “All he needs is for someone to open the door for him.”

After the season he had in the minors, Brennan will be hungrier than ever for a shot in the NHL, so he’s probably going to be looking for a one-way deal. Or, at the very least, some assurances he’ll get a shot to make the big club.

Any takers?

  1. buddysguys - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    move him to forward?

  2. hockeyflow33 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    He should have no problem. Being poor in your own zone can win you a Norris

    • tomas3345 - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      Karlsson disliked this i bet

  3. shaundre93 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    So pretty much any team in the NHL that could use PP help should sign this guy. How could you not at least give him a shot? Shelter him, give him easy min and PP time, and he’d be an asset for any caliber team. No ones gonna sit here and tell you Torey Krugs winning the Norris any time soon, but he was a HUGE asset for the B’s this past season, and the #1 reason their PP improved so dramatically. Seems to me Brennan could play a similar role successfully.

  4. dchambers144 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    @hockeyflow33- that actually made me laugh. It’s amazing how the “best” defenseman is generally the highest scoring defenseman. It’s kind of like how to win a Gold Glove in MLB you have to hit .300.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Or how Jeter will win it again this year despite having one of the worst ranges in the league every single year.

  5. alicesrightfootesq - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    How do these defensemen who “aren’t good in their own end but good offensively” end up defensemen?

    • illadelphiasphinest - Jun 30, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      They are slow and cant skate as well.

      • skr213 - Jun 30, 2014 at 6:45 PM

        More like they can skate backwards at a young age and get stuck on D because of it!

    • jl9830 - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      They score so much more than other defensemen that even with poor D, they provide positive value.

  6. marauders127 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Type of player the Sabres could use for a roster spot, despite trading him a couple years ago, new GM.

  7. garybrian - Jun 30, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Not good in his own end? Then he’s perfect for the Maple Leafs!

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