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 a Toronto-based writer of sorts. He likes hockey and comic books and sriracha sauce. He doesn't like Don Cherry. Follow him on Twitter: @thejustinfisher
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#1 exsanguinator
September 28 2013, 10:47PM
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Wait a minute, Calgary didn't get absolutely fleeced on a trade with Toronto? Chalk this one up as a win.

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#2 TRAV
September 29 2013, 01:04AM
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Ill be curious to see how Lambert slams Feaster on this one...

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#3 Kent Wilson
September 28 2013, 11:09PM
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This is an outstanding trade for the Flames. Im not sure what kind of ceiling Colborne has, but for a 4th (or even a third) rounder, it's a clear win. If he becomes any sort of NHLer, Calgary is ahead. If he's anything above a 4th liner, bonus.

I will have a an in-depth follow-up for FN tomorrow.

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#4 First Name Unidentified
September 28 2013, 10:50PM
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I like this trade. Colborne may just need the change in scenery that Calgary provides, being local, etc. Even if he tops out as a 3C, it's well worth a shot.

This looks like a Burke type of move. Good luck in Cowtown Joe, I'll be cheering you on!

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#5 Baalzamon
September 28 2013, 11:46PM
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This just in.. the pick becomes a third rounder if the moon falls out of the sky, transforms into a meatball, and lands on Jay Feaster's plate.

Oh, and Colborne turns into Nazem Kadri if the Leafs win the cup.

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#6 aloudoun
September 29 2013, 01:22AM
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Nothing wrong with this trade.

And for those saying that it creates problems for the other centres in our system. Tough beans. I would way rather have a glut of centres all vying for a spot than having to use a centre that isn't ready because we have no one else. If you want to play in the NHL and on the Flames then you have to earn it. It isnt given out. Centre depth is something Calgary has been lacking for a long time.

For the first time in a long time I am cautiously optimistic that the Flames are building a team right. *knock on wood.

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#7 Cam Charron
September 28 2013, 10:52PM
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This only took so long because the two general managers were haggling over who would pick up the tab for the two dozen jelly donuts they got at Tim Hortons.

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#8 Sincity1976
September 28 2013, 11:14PM
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This really came down to the waiver eligibility I think. Colborne only has 16 NHL games and he was guaranteed to be picked up on waivers.

Toronto, or whatever team they traded him to, would have needed to keep him on the active NHL roster to keep him. Given how rough he is right now I don't think there were many teams that were able to do that.

The Flames have bad enough C depth and are rebuilding so they are one of the few that can carry him on the roster.

I think it drove the interest down to a point where the Flames got a player for less then value. Knight and Colborne were both players that the Flames were in a good position to get on the cheap. Good to the Flames on getting both.

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#9 Colin.S
September 29 2013, 12:31AM
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I don't know how you can't like the trade, a pick that in all likelihood was never going to be a big time pick anyways for a big center that was a former first round pick that has a decent NHLE using his AHL numbers.

I don't get why Toronto has gone so mild on him, doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think Toronto had better ways to get cap compliant, but whatever, take em where you can get em.

Another bonus to this deal is that maybe the team can sneak Monahan back to the minors without a whole lot of fuss if Colborne can make a decent enough impact with the Flames. Having a big, young center like Colborne might give the team options and let Monahan go develop in the minors if he is not 100% NHL ready yet.

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#10 Stockley
September 28 2013, 10:48PM
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@seve927

This fits two bits of criteria. First, it's another mid-round pick to bring in a native Alberta boy. Second, it's acquiring someone Burke is familiar with, the sort of move I imagine we'll see a lot of. Give me this trade any day over someone like Liles. At least Colborne is affordable and not signed to a horrendous contract.

I'm lukewarm on the deal. Low risk, high reward though. Replacing a 4th round draft pick won't be difficult. Lots of replaceable parts will be moved out of Calgary in the next couple seasons, veterans looking for new homes or more competitive teams to call their own.

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#11 Jeff Lebowski
September 28 2013, 11:26PM
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I like this trade. I like it even more because the coilers should have been after him if he was available. Especially at that price. Steal x 2!

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#12 Alkali
September 28 2013, 11:03PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

Apparently the 4th round pick isn't set in stone. Looks like it'll be a 3rd rounder if certain conditions are met.

It becomes a 3rd if he gets 10 G or 35 P this season AND Flames make playoffs.

I highly doubt it will be a third round pick going to the Leafs

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#13 beloch
September 29 2013, 12:55AM
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I bet MacT up in Shelbyville is a little steamed right now. With Gagner and Nuge out for who knows how long, he's got two >25 AHL'ers playing in the NHL, and one of those is barely good enough for the AHL! Picking up a NHL ready center with size and upsize for 600K would have been a very smart move for the Oilers. Too slow, too bad, so sad!

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#14 jeremywilhelm
September 29 2013, 03:16AM
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Colboner engaged. I'm now a full time Colbrony.

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#15 Sobueno
September 29 2013, 12:31AM
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Wow, not much to complain about on this one. I guess it makes sense they were trying to get kind of return if TO was going to lose him for nothing via waivers, otherwise this trade makes little sense from Toronto's view. 600k of cap relief doesn't seem like a whole lot to be essentially giving away a 23 year old prospect.

I know many were hoping our trade outcomes would be improved with Burke around. Well IMO this makes him 1 for 1!

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#16 MaxPower417
September 29 2013, 07:03AM
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Being a Leaf fan is the worst.

I feel mentally handicapped by association.

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

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#18 schevvy
September 28 2013, 11:22PM
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Good trade. But I think we all know who's calling the shots in the office now

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#19 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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#20 seve927
September 28 2013, 10:42PM
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Well, I guess I can't say it's bad. But I'm not in the least excited about it. As far as I'm concerned we've got a glut of guys like this.

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#21 ChinookArch
September 28 2013, 11:22PM
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RKD wrote:

It's clear who orchestrated this trade, this is the second time Burke has traded for Colborne. If he's given some ice time, at least he has a chance to develop and progress his game some more.

According to Sports Center it was Burke. The last time a Flames GM fleeced his old team, it was for Mikka Kipprusoff. Adding a NHL calibre center to this team is a big win, no matter where Colborne's ceiling is.

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#22 Robert Cleave
September 28 2013, 11:26PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

This is an outstanding trade for the Flames. Im not sure what kind of ceiling Colborne has, but for a 4th (or even a third) rounder, it's a clear win. If he becomes any sort of NHLer, Calgary is ahead. If he's anything above a 4th liner, bonus.

I will have a an in-depth follow-up for FN tomorrow.

Given the parameters for making the pick a third, I suspect there's no chance it becomes that. In the unlikely event that it does, it'll move from a good trade to an outright fleecing.

There's still really no downside to this. A 4th rounder turns into someone that plays 100 NHL games something like 15% of the time, so the risk of having sacrificed something of value is pretty low.

I'd also suspect when the Flames sell off Cammy and maybe Stajan this spring, they'll get back a bit more than a 4th, so I can't envision a scenario where the club is short of decent draft picks. Even if Colborne is just another 4th liner in the end, the risk/reward balance is OK on this deal.

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#23 TRAV
September 29 2013, 12:47AM
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Nothing not to like here. If this trade was suggested as a possibility I would have said, "Keep dreaming." Colborne for a fourth is a no lose, with potential to be a big win! Nice!

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#24 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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#25 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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#26 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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#27 seve927
September 28 2013, 11:30PM
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I can't believe Edmonton wouldn't have given up more than a 4th for him. They're desperate for a big center.

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#28 Chris
September 29 2013, 12:08AM
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Great trade. It might not pan out, but it's the kind of trade that good GMs make. Pick up five young "bubble" players with good upside, and odds are you'll get one top 6 forward or top 4 defencemen out of the lot.

Colborne may not turn into Kadri, but as long as he doesn't turn into one of those jelly donuts like Tkachuk did, I'm fine with it. :)

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#29 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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#30 Skuehler
September 28 2013, 11:05PM
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It looks like a win for sure - waiting for the catch. I've seen Colborne play in Jr and he was really good. Thinking he may be a better option than Knight in the near future.

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#31 jeremywilhelm
September 29 2013, 12:35AM
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Niiiiiice.

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#32 Danny Lawson
September 29 2013, 01:03AM
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Mason Raymond beat out Colborne for a position in Toronto ....? Really .....?

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#33 whichonespink
September 29 2013, 07:57AM
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beloch wrote:

After reading a little more, specifically [1], it sounds like Colborne might bit a bit of a project player. He's received some injuries and might be afraid to get into the dirty areas now. Obviously, it didn't look like he was going to make the Leafs out of camp, which is why it was trade him or watch him go for nothing on waivers. Speaking of which, my understanding is that the Flames are now in the same position as the Leafs were. Whether he's ready or not, Colborne is on the team. There's no way to send him to Abby if he sucks balls.

At least one fan over in Leafdom speculates that Colborne could make a good winger if converted. If he stinks up center-ice on the fourth line that might be the next thing to try. Unfortunately, he shoots left and it's the right flank that's a barren wasteland at the moment.

The Flames really should look at converting a center or two to right wing. Monahan and Reinhart also shoot left, but Corban Knight shoots right, so he might be worth trying out as a RW if Colborne just bumped him out of 4C.

[1] http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/09/29/joe-colborne-traded-to-calgary-flames-for-4th-round-pick/

I am from Leafdom and I agree, Joe might benefit from time on the wing. For 2 games in the playoffs last yr, he looked good. He took the body and was rarely out of position. There is less ground to cover at the wing so starting him off there wouldn't be a bad idea. Just giving him 40 games or so at the NHL level to let him play and make mistakes, and grow. He could be a hellofa player for you Calgary, Im all for helping you out with the flood, but this is taking it too far.

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#34 ChinookArch
September 29 2013, 08:26AM
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aloudoun wrote:

Nothing wrong with this trade.

And for those saying that it creates problems for the other centres in our system. Tough beans. I would way rather have a glut of centres all vying for a spot than having to use a centre that isn't ready because we have no one else. If you want to play in the NHL and on the Flames then you have to earn it. It isnt given out. Centre depth is something Calgary has been lacking for a long time.

For the first time in a long time I am cautiously optimistic that the Flames are building a team right. *knock on wood.

Exactly. The other benefit from having too many centers on the team is that the Flames may have young talent to trade now. This might serve to set up another cap relief trade to a team that needs to give up a quality RFA and wants a quality prospect in return.

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#35 RKD
September 28 2013, 11:13PM
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It's clear who orchestrated this trade, this is the second time Burke has traded for Colborne. If he's given some ice time, at least he has a chance to develop and progress his game some more.

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#36 vowswithin
September 29 2013, 01:04AM
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Knight was pushing to leave the Panthers because of too much depth in their org, well I imagine that he can't be too happy about this move...

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#37 bezer
September 29 2013, 01:06AM
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Eff ya.. love the pick up for a mid pick, and we didn't get Liles in the process.

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#38 HongKongHockeyFan
September 29 2013, 01:07AM
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This is the new reality in the lower Salary Cap world. I won't lose sleep even if we give up a 3rd rounder.

I am just glad we didn't take Lile's salary to boot.

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#39 Deaner_
September 29 2013, 01:14AM
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Also, what does this mean for the Horak's and Rienhart's of the world, let alone Knight. How does Bill Arnold see things shaping up coming out of College this season?

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#40 BJ
September 29 2013, 06:22AM
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aloudoun wrote:

Nothing wrong with this trade.

And for those saying that it creates problems for the other centres in our system. Tough beans. I would way rather have a glut of centres all vying for a spot than having to use a centre that isn't ready because we have no one else. If you want to play in the NHL and on the Flames then you have to earn it. It isnt given out. Centre depth is something Calgary has been lacking for a long time.

For the first time in a long time I am cautiously optimistic that the Flames are building a team right. *knock on wood.

And we saw in preseason how Hartley seems to have no problem playing Reinhart Knight etc.. on the wing.... no I do not think too much Center depth is a concern for us at all? lol

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#41 Jeremy Ian
September 29 2013, 07:18AM
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Good trade for all sides, but better for Calgary. Colborne was not breaking into the Leaf ranks this year, so he needs a restart. Calgary gets his potential; but that potential now has a shorter and shorter fuse. Leafs have to figure out what to do with the 4th line.

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#42 Kmp
September 29 2013, 08:32AM
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Can't see the logic here, is he better than Horak, Knight or Reinhart. No and he has to clear waivers, waste of a 4th rounder IMO.

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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 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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#47 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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#48 FireOnIce
September 28 2013, 10:56PM
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Apparently the 4th round pick isn't set in stone. Looks like it'll be a 3rd rounder if certain conditions are met.

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#49 everton fc
September 29 2013, 01:07AM
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Colborne and Knight had very similar numbers in the NCAA. I've not been as high on Knight as many here. I see no real difference between Knight and Colborne. Generally speaking.

Yet.

I wonder what this means for Bouma and Horak. If Bouma can play from the right side, that might be an interesting, potentially productive 4th line.

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#50 aloudoun
September 29 2013, 01:24AM
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And Colborne had 2 assists and was 73% in face-offs tonight. (yes yes I know its preseason... whatever)

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