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Kyle Dubas said on Saturday that defenseman Morgan Rielly offered to move down to the second power play last season to help get Tyson Barrie going.
That's a teammate and a leader! Barrie struggled after a trade from Colorado and Rielly thought playing with Tavares, Matthews and Marner on the first power play unit would help. "He started the year off and did one of the most selfless things that I have seen," Dubas said about Rielly. "In mid-November, he was on the first power play, and we had acquired Tyson Barrie the summer previous. Tyson got off to a fairly slow start with us — he hadn’t produced and hadn’t scored — and as someone who was facing unrestricted free agency in the new year, in a new city with a lot of expectations on him, he started to really struggle. Morgan, when Sheldon (Keefe) came into the job, went to Sheldon and said he would have no problem, if it was what was best for the team, going to the second power-play unit to put Tyson on the first unit so that Tyson could get going. If we were going to reach our potential, everyone felt it was important that Tyson played the way we knew he was capable of playing. I just thought that spoke so much to the character of Morgan Rielly and everything that he is about. About a month and a half later, he sustained a really bad injury — a broken foot on a blocked shot in Florida — and he had also been dealing with an injury in the first half of the season before he was hurt, which had kind of slowed him down. On any team, you need players like that who are willing to put the team ahead of themselves. I thought, with Morgan Rielly, he has always done that here. When he came back and was fully healthy against Columbus, it was great to see him back at full bore — the way we all knew him to be. As a manager and a coach, you are always rooting, if you have players on your team that are so selfless in their actions, for them to ultimately have success. I think everybody does on the team does as well. We are really excited to see Morgan next year back and firing on all cylinders throughout the entire season."
Added 8:31 am (EST)
Added 8:31 am (EST)
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