Leafs Trade Joe Colborne to Flames

Justin Fisher
September 28 2013 11:05PM

Joe Colborne is going home. 

The six-foot-five Calgary, Alberta native has been traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Calgary Flames for a 4th round pick in 2014. A former 1st rounder, Colborne couldn't quite nail down a roster spot during the Leafs' preseason.

At first glance, it's a head scratcher. Colborne was one of the key pieces in the Toronto-Boston trade that sent Tomas Kaberle to the Bruins, and put up some solid numbers in the AHL, while looking a little out of place in the NHL. Regardless, to give up on a young center with size and offensive upside, on a $600K, one year contract no less, is nothing short of confusing.

In 211 AHL games split between Providence and Toronto, Colborne scored 50 goals and 125 points. In 16 NHL games, only one goal and five assists. Still, Colborne ranked #2 on The Leafs Nation's Top Twenty Leafs Prospects feature that ran earlier this month.

No matter which way you look at it, this is a big win for Calgary. It's entirely possible Colborne could top out as a middling professional hockey player, but the likelihood of him being worse than who would have been Calgary's 4th round pick in 2014 is slim.

The Leafs get a mid-round pick and a little bit of cap relief.

The Flames move futures for a still young, NHL-ready player. Welcome to Brian Burke's accelerated rebuild, Calgary.

UPDATE:

The pick is a conditional 4th rounder... 

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Justin Fisher is The Leafs Nation's Managing Editor. After the game, he's a handsome vigilante who fights crime and frequents late night food trucks.
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#51 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 29 2013, 08:46AM
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He might have been had for free. He was probably going to be put on waivers. A 4th sounds like its a bit expensive for someone who is already on his third team. This was a great trade for Toronto. I hope he pans out for you guys. Im hoping we get some similar but less expensive news ourselves.

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#52 exsanguinator
September 29 2013, 08:50AM
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"As an organization we have had many discussions this past year about Joe, but never made an offer," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said in a statement. "With the opportunity to speak with Brian Burke and learn about Joe's hockey sense and character from someone who had him as a player and knows him so well, it became clear to us that this is the type of young, big center we need. He fits in very well with our rebuild and provides size up the middle which we believe is critical going forward. The fact that he is from Calgary is an added bonus. We look forward to welcoming him to the Flames family."

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#53 Dr. Philosophy
September 29 2013, 08:52AM
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Nonis is the mole!

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#54 MonsterPod
September 29 2013, 09:09AM
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Love this. Elliot Friedman was speculating we may get Colborne if we swallowed Liles first. To get him for a 4th is stellar. Way to go Burkie! I mean, "Feaster".

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#55 RexLibris
September 29 2013, 09:18AM
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seve927 wrote:

I can't believe Edmonton wouldn't have given up more than a 4th for him. They're desperate for a big center.

The Oilers are already without a 2nd this year because of the Perron deal and Tambellini dealt their 4th to Toronto last year for Mike Brown.

Running out of options there, and while they could have offered something like a 2014 3rd with a conditional 2nd in 2015, it doesn't have as much appeal as a Flames pick in the more immediate future.

Also, Burke and Nonis. If the Leafs have any castoffs the Flames could find themselves the comfortable beneficiaries from a "rich uncle".

Great trade for the Flames. It covers either a hole made by Corban Knight going down to the AHL, or if Colborne excels, perhaps pushes Monahan back to the OHL for a year.

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#56 RexLibris
September 29 2013, 09:30AM
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On another note, Andrew Ference named Captain of the Oilers.

Former Flame, now Captain of the Oilers.

Funny how things work sometimes.

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#57 seve927
September 29 2013, 09:40AM
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RexLibris wrote:

The Oilers are already without a 2nd this year because of the Perron deal and Tambellini dealt their 4th to Toronto last year for Mike Brown.

Running out of options there, and while they could have offered something like a 2014 3rd with a conditional 2nd in 2015, it doesn't have as much appeal as a Flames pick in the more immediate future.

Also, Burke and Nonis. If the Leafs have any castoffs the Flames could find themselves the comfortable beneficiaries from a "rich uncle".

Great trade for the Flames. It covers either a hole made by Corban Knight going down to the AHL, or if Colborne excels, perhaps pushes Monahan back to the OHL for a year.

Yeah, exactly. My comment wasn't so much about the Oilers, as why no demand for Colborne. For the same price as a Mike Brown, we got Joe Colborne? What does that say about him? According to Pronman he's big but not physical, not very good defensively and inconsistent. He's 23. Honestly, how many guys like that have ever made the NHL? Any? I'm not trying to trash him, but I seriously don't understand the excitement.

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#58 clyde
September 29 2013, 09:56AM
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I hope these aren't the type of moves Feaster was talking about when he said the Flames were in great position to take advantage of this day.

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#59 Mironovs Nose
September 29 2013, 10:09AM
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@seve927

As a Leaf fan I didn't have high expectations from Colborne, but based on his play in the AHL, and the fact that he was hampered by injuries last year, there's still a chance he becomes a pretty good player.

Basically, Leaf fans are pissed about losing a prospect with some potential for basically nothing. Flames fans should be happy they're getting a free lotto ticket.

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#60 clyde
September 29 2013, 10:35AM
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Although the waiver wire looks quite weak, a player I hope the Flames grab is Colby Robak

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#61 jai kiran
September 29 2013, 10:41AM
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Elliot Friedman was on the Fan 960 talking about Colbourne a couple days ago and he said that he thought Colbourne could be ready to be a 2nd line C, but that he was never going to get that opportunity in Toronto. Will the Flames give him that opportunity? They sure could...

But for all the people who wanted to see Monahan go back to junior, I think the chances just went up.

I saw Colbourne play yesterday, and he looked OK-to-pretty-good, not a perimeter player, going to the front of the net, winning faceoffs - maybe a little nervous (but, in retrospect, clearly he had reason to be nervous).

Friedman talked about a failed wrist surgery 2 years ago that seriously damaged Colbourne's ability to score. But he said that this spring the wrist just clicked back into place and Colbourne started to score just before the AHL playoffs...

This guy's an inch and a half shorter than Keenan Kanzig and he can really skate.

Surely this is a good thing.

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#62 FireOnIce
September 29 2013, 10:44AM
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@RexLibris

No one has loyalty these days. Gone are the times of loyalty to your team and dedication to kicking the crap out of Oilers on a nightly basis. Now it's all hired guns and guys playing for a pay check. Different business.

That said, it's not a bad choice, but I think Hall would have been better. Ference hasn't played anything near a full season since 05/06 and doesn't average more than 12.5 points a season. He'd better be a hell of a locker room guy or that will help sour Hall on the Oilers long term. Hall is the future of this team and while he hasn't quite shown leadership, just giving it to the oldest dude in the room is not always the best idea.

Especially one who played for the Flames.

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#63 Steve
September 29 2013, 10:53AM
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Is this finally a reward for us sticking them with an overpaid, poor defensive 6.5 million dollar d'man? Where starting to see some return. Can't wait to see matty go for a combo of picks at the deadline.

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#64 seve927
September 29 2013, 10:59AM
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jai kiran wrote:

Elliot Friedman was on the Fan 960 talking about Colbourne a couple days ago and he said that he thought Colbourne could be ready to be a 2nd line C, but that he was never going to get that opportunity in Toronto. Will the Flames give him that opportunity? They sure could...

But for all the people who wanted to see Monahan go back to junior, I think the chances just went up.

I saw Colbourne play yesterday, and he looked OK-to-pretty-good, not a perimeter player, going to the front of the net, winning faceoffs - maybe a little nervous (but, in retrospect, clearly he had reason to be nervous).

Friedman talked about a failed wrist surgery 2 years ago that seriously damaged Colbourne's ability to score. But he said that this spring the wrist just clicked back into place and Colbourne started to score just before the AHL playoffs...

This guy's an inch and a half shorter than Keenan Kanzig and he can really skate.

Surely this is a good thing.

That's an encouraging report. My expectations have been raised a little. My problem is if he can't play defense, and really hasn't shown any offense outside of brief flashes, what reason is there for optimism. If his wrist injury is truly behind him, there's my answer.

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#65 Jeff Lebowski
September 29 2013, 11:16AM
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There are some interesting points of view from Leaf fans (Colborne may have underwhelmed).

A new environment sounds almost cliche and hard to use as justification for dealing for a guy but you just see it over and over when guys move to different spots.

If, as they say, Colborne had to outplay the top 6, perhaps he felt like they already pigeoned holed him and they guys above him. Not true competition. Minds made up etc etc.

Calgary seems to taking the philosophy of: "Show us".

Instead of labelling their players, you play PP, 3W etc they just let the guys determine it on ice. That means you put different guys in the situations and see who does it best. They don't do it at NHL level because its a specialized league. Anyway, it is a gamble with Joe. Hopefully he makes the most of the opportunity.

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#66 RexLibris
September 29 2013, 12:29PM
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@FireOnIce

Ference has earned a Captaincy with his play, demeanour and experience. He has embraced the city (his native one, mind you) more quickly than some previous captains, so the call was the right one.

As for souring Hall for the long-term, he's signed to a seven-year deal. That is just about as long-term as one can get these days. The only question is how long does Ference hold on to the captaincy before it goes to Hall, not whether Hall leaves because of it - that is a non-starter.

With regards to loyalty though, I was just remarking that it is interesting how things can work in the long run. Ference left Calgary a long time ago. He's arguably more of a Bruins' than a Flames alumni now.

And remember, Steve Smith and Grant Fuhr both spent time in Flames' colours at the end of their careers. Loyalty hasn't eroded over the years, it was never more than a transitory state to begin with.

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#67 Baalzamon
September 29 2013, 12:35PM
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@RexLibris

Steve Smith was even the captain of the Flames for a while IIRC.

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#68 Jeff Lebowski
September 29 2013, 05:36PM
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RexLibris wrote:

The Oilers are already without a 2nd this year because of the Perron deal and Tambellini dealt their 4th to Toronto last year for Mike Brown.

Running out of options there, and while they could have offered something like a 2014 3rd with a conditional 2nd in 2015, it doesn't have as much appeal as a Flames pick in the more immediate future.

Also, Burke and Nonis. If the Leafs have any castoffs the Flames could find themselves the comfortable beneficiaries from a "rich uncle".

Great trade for the Flames. It covers either a hole made by Corban Knight going down to the AHL, or if Colborne excels, perhaps pushes Monahan back to the OHL for a year.

So let me get this straight.-oilers send 4th round pick to TOR recieve Mike Brown.

-Flames send 4th round pick* to TOR recieve Joe Colborne.

While Brown may ultimately 'play' more NHL games, there is a difference of philosophy in asset management that is striking.Of course the GMs and situations are different but I enjoy this.

*conditional.

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