Sheldon Keefe on Mitchell Marner's 'potential' new role
by SEAD DEDOVIC | VIEW 303
Toronto Maple Leaf's coach Sheldon Keefe talked about Marner and the option to be used as a defenseman. "Throughout camp, he has been taking some reps on the back end, and he and I have been talking about it since before camp began," Keefe said for NHL.com.
Marner is ready to do anything. "I'm open to all kind of opportunities, whatever he is thinking, I'm not against anything," Marner said. "So as soon as he gave me the heads up, I was all in with it and thought the idea was kind of a cool thinking one." He also explained what he plans to do.
"I guess just trying to adapt with it, making sure I'm good enough to take on 2-on-1's if it happens, 3-on-2's, try to just communicate with whoever is out there with me as a D partner and talk about how we are going to try to attack and approach if odd man rushes are coming against us," Marner said.
"We're lucky to have some great defensemen who are very open and talkative about how to play certain plays so they're always open to questions."
Keefe on his player
Keefe wants to remain constant in this and wants to give his player a chance to show what he is ready for.
"There could be opportunities in games where we might want to give him a look on defense, whether we are trying to score a goal or playing from behind, whatever the case might be, that we might give him some opportunity there to see what that looks like," Keefe said.
Keefe thinks it's worth the risk. "That's something we will continue to look at through the preseason and make a determination from there on how we might use it." "Mitch is a right shot, a highly offensive player that can help us, and it allows us to put on another high impact forward like [William] Nylander in that case, so it's something worth looking at for us I think," Keefe said.