In an era where some professional players have elevated opinions of themselves it is very refreshing to find a player who will accept their role. In its short history in Toronto the Marlies have had several players that left the fans with the impression that they felt they were too good to be playing for the Marlies and should be in the NHL, and for that reason left for Europe to ply their trade.
The Marlies have two NHL veterans that are giving their all and accepting their role in the organization. Boyd Devereaux has over 600 NHL games under his belt, with Edmonton, Detroit, Phoenix and Toronto. In 2001-02 Boyd was a member of the Red Wings Stanley Cup winners. After spending all that time in the NHL no one would blame him if he had trouble accepting his role as an AHL role model. But Devereaux is out there every night laying it all on the line and giving Coach Gilbert a strong effort. The organization has committed publicly to taking the Leafs in another direction, and getting younger. This would seem to leave the 30 year old on the outside looking in. At less then a point every three games and a -7 would not stand out on any team, but take a period to focus in on Boyd and you will come to appreciate his game.
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The second veteran is Bates Battaglia who just turned 33. Although Battaglia missed the first 21 games this year for personal family reasons, it had nothing to do with his role in the Leaf’s organization. Since returning he has been one of the best Marlies on the ice. No one can argue his value to a great playoff run the Marlies treated their fans to last year. Like Deavereaux, Bates has played for several organizations in Carolina, Colorado, Washington and Toronto, totaling 570 NHL games.
This fan would like to send out a personal thank you to both Boyd and Bates.