Just hours before an expected NHL lockout, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a number of roster moves involving some of their younger players.
Among the 22 players assigned to the AHL's Toronto Marlies were forward Nazem Kadri and defenceman Jake Gardiner.
The Leafs also sent four players back to their former junior teams, including their fifth overall selection in the 2012 Draft, Morgan Rielly, who returned to the WHL's Moose Jaw Warriors.
The 22-year-old Gardiner completed his first NHL season in 2011-12, finishing with seven goals and 30 points in 75 games.
A first round selection of the Anaheim Ducks in 2008, Gardiner also appeared in four regular season games and 17 playoff games for the Marlies last season, recording two goals and 11 points.
The 21-year-old Kardri has split his time the last two seasons between the Marlies and Maple Leafs.
Taken seventh overall in the 2009 Draft, Kadri totaled 23 goals and 47 points playing in both the AHL and NHL in 2011-12.
Besides Gardiner and Kadri, the Leafs assigned the following players to the Marlies: Spencer Abbott, Carter Ashton, Jesse Blacker, Tyler Brenner, Sam Carrick, Joe Colborne, Andrew Crescenzi, Jerry D'Amigo, Nicolas Deschamps, Jamie Devane, Simon Gysbers, Ryan Hamilton, Korbinian Holzer, Leo Komarov, Greg McKegg, Mark Owuya, Brad Ross, Kenny Ryan, Jussi Rynnas and Greg Scott.
In addition to Rielly, the Leafs assigned the following players to their junior clubs: Tyler Biggs (Oshawa Generals, OHL), David Broll (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, OHL) and Stuart Percy (Mississauga Steelheads, OHL).