It looks as though Interim GM Cliff Fletcher has pretty well finished cleaning house in Toronto with the move of defenseman Bryan McCabe to Florida on Tuesday. The Maple Leafs organization is full of new faces and new ideas for the 2009 season and now with this move of McCabe, they have a bit more room under the cap to wiggle around in the next 12 months.
In the deal, the Leafs sent McCabe and a fourth round draft pick in 2010 to the Panthers for veteran defenseman, Mike Van Ryn. The move doesn't quite have the equality that a lot of trades strive to create, but it does look as though the draft pick was to help grease the wheels for the Panthers to okay the trade. The Leafs get a little younger and a bit more defensive with the acquisition of Van Ryn, while the Panthers gain a little more power play proficiency with McCabe, but a whole lot of baggage as well.
|2007-2008 Stats||2009||Point Projections|
|To Toronto||Age||GP||Points||Cap Hit||THN||HTM||Score|
|Mike Van Ryn, D||29||20||2||$2.9 million||33||27||26|
|To Florida||Age||GP||Points||Cap Hit||THN||HTM||Score|
|Bryan McCabe, D||33||54||23||$5.75 million||54||41||41|
|2010 Fourth Round Draft Pick|
With Mats Sundin not in the organization picture at the moment, Bryan McCabe off to Florida today, Darcy Tucker & Andrew Raycroft in Colorado and Kyle Wellwood in Vancouver, the Leafs will have plenty to work on without a number of familiar faces, which doesn't bode well for a player like Vesa Toskala in the pool prognostications. The Leafs will be hard pressed for some offense this season and Toskala will be hard pressed for some wins, so it would be wise to drop the Finnish netminder a ways down in your pool rankings and only take him if you need to fill the starting goaltender position.
Van Ryn joins Jeff Finger on the brand new blueline for the Leafs, which doesn't necessarily strike a lot of confidence on the offensive side of the ice. Van Ryn has topped out at 37 points in his career, but has had some injury problems in the last couple seasons, which has dwindled his numbers some. If he can have a healthy season, the Leafs could be much better than their initial look in numbers, but optimism is coming at a premium in Toronto.
As for McCabe heading to Florida, he'll bring some much needed production to the blueline. McCabe joins Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton, as the new faces of the Panthers line-up on the backend, which does give Jay Bouwmeester an incredible amount of help this season. It could very well make the life of Tomas Vokoun a lot easier, but now the team has eight NHL defensemen, who could earn a job anywhere, but there is only six or seven spots generally available in the game. What happens now?