Kurtis Gabriel never got a chance to show what he could do with the big club.
The outspoken forward was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday in exchange for defensive prospect Chad Krys.
Gabriel had a goal and assist and 36 penalty minutes with the Toronto Marlies this season. Signed to a one-year, $750,000 deal last summer, the enforcer was never called up by the big the club. His chances of playing with the Leafs were further diminished when the team re-acquired forward Kyle Clifford for future considerations last month.
With injuries to forwards Ilya Mikheyev (hand) and most recently, Mitch Marner (shoulder) the Leafs called up Clifford and Joey Anderson. The latter has since been sent down, but when it came time to call up another forward before their game on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the club opted to bring up prospect Alex Steeves to play on the fourth line with Clifford and Pierre Engvall.
Krys has one assist in eight games with the Blackhawk’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford Ice Hogs. He recently returned to the ice after he had major surgery to correct a chronically unstable in March. The 23-year-old was selected by the Chicago in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft.
The Ridgefield, Connecticut native captured a bronze medal with the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.