Leafs send down defenceman Aulie to AHL

After an unimpressive showing during the pre-season, the Toronto Maple Leafs have reassigned Keith Aulie to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.

The Maple Leafs announced on Monday that Aulie and Mike Zigomanis have been sent down. The team also placed Darryl Boyce, Joey Crabb and Matt Lashoff on waivers.

Last season, Aulie played a significant role for the Leafs defence after Francois Beauchemin was traded to the Anaheim Ducks. Aulie, who was acquired in the Dion Phaneuf trade from Calgary, finished with two points and 32 penalty minutes in 40 games with Toronto during the 2010-11 season.

“It’s very competitive right now. Last year at the end, we weren’t very deep on the back end and he was able to get in there and play well,” Wilson told the Toronto Star.

Unfortunately, Aulie didn’t do enough in training camp to make the Leafs roster.

Head coach Ron Wilson said Aulie was in a very competitive position battle and may have been beaten out after a very strong performance from young defenceman Jake Gardiner in the pre-season.