Marlies prioritize development of players but remain focused on competing for playoffs next season

The Toronto Marlies will begin next year likely the same as they did this season — as a development team with a growing intention of getting to the post-season.
Toronto missed the playoffs this season for the first time since 2010-11, and while many fans might not think that’s good, the Marlies still had a great year.
When looking back, there were a number of players who got their shot to play with the Maple Leafs because of injuries, and a few others received NHL contracts after being signed to AHL deals last summer.
It seemed like there was a lot of displeasure from fans with the way Marlies head coach Greg Moore ran things at the AHL level, whether it be lineup decisions, in-game choices, and at times, just decisions in general. While there might have been more focus on him than some of the players this season, there was still plenty of development from him, too.
“I saw a lot of growth in him (Moore) this season,” said Marlies GM Ryan Hardy on locker cleanout day. “I think a lot of times from an outside observer, you recognize the games and the outcome and everybody wants to make the playoffs, and that’s certainly a part of the job.
“But he …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

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