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Leafs send defenceman Rielly back to WHL, assign forward Frattin to Marlies

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 2:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Leafs send defenceman Rielly back to WHL, assign forward Frattin to Marlies

TORONTO, Cananda - Defenceman Morgan Rielly and forward Matt Frattin were the final two cuts as the Toronto Maple Leafs finalized their roster for opening night.

Rielly, 18, was sent back to the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. The Leafs could have still returned Rielly to junior after five regular-season games. But general manager Dave Nonis told reporters that while Rielly played well in camp, there were no exhibition games so they were unable to gauge how he would play against NHL-calibre talent.

Frattin will report to the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies. Both Rielly and Frattin were able to be re-assigned without having to clear waivers, which likely factored into the decision.

The Maple Leafs also said that forward Tim Connolly has cleared waivers and will report to the Marlies.

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Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals