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 beloch
September 29 2013, 06:59AM
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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/

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#52 coachedpotatoe
September 29 2013, 08:19AM
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For a team void of big centers this looks like a good move. I wonder why Eakin's in Edmonton was not all over this as he would know him from the Marlies; with the injuries at center it would have made sense for them.

I wonder how this went down between Feaster and Burke? Did Jay go to Feaster for insight or did Burke go to Feaster with a suggestion. While some may not think this matters it does in understanding the dynamics in the front office.

Who on the roster does this impact the most; I would suggest Horak at this point as I would see him being sent down. I have read on other sites that it probably means Monahan will be sent down but they seem to bring different skill sets.

It will be interesting to see the new lines and how the coaching staff utilizes what they have. Again I'm hoping for them to roll 4 lines. I'm still excited to watch the development of the young guys and now we have a new one to watch. Good luck to him and all the young kids; remember you are expected to compete each and every shift.

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#53 jeremywilhelm
September 29 2013, 08:45AM
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@Kmp

Er, hes far better than 2 of 3. Horak is probably a better player than he is.

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#54 Jeff In Lethbridge
September 29 2013, 08:46AM
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the Flames though are in the same boat as the Leafs... leave him on the team or risk him on the waivers... technically this is a good deal for the Flames... but at his age I would have liked to see more promise from him... I don't have high hope personally

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#55 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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#56 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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#57 Primo
September 28 2013, 11:10PM
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Anyone know his stats on face offs??

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#58 STAN
September 28 2013, 11:20PM
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Wow. This deal must have been in the works for a while. If Colborne had potted a couple of goals tonight, it might have been a conditional third rounder (bumped up to second with 10 goals and 35 points.) But I think he had three assists.

If the Flames give him a spot and 15-16 minutes a night, I can't see why he won't score 15 goals and get 40 points.

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#59 Sincity1976
September 28 2013, 11:39PM
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@seve927

I think they might have eyes on Luke Adam.

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#60 Deaner_
September 29 2013, 01:10AM
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I wonder if Burkie and Joe's agent are buds, perhaps he could have suggested if Colborne had a sub par preseason that he could make it worth his while in cowtown....Regardless it's a clear win for the Flames.

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#61 Deaner_
September 29 2013, 01:27AM
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@aloudoun

Agreed, I'm thinking more about a situation like Arnold's, where he could walk and leave us with nothing, does this make a guy like that a tradable asset with so many 3-4 line potential centres.

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#62 KetchupKid
September 29 2013, 05:01AM
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Go Brian!

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#63 BJ
September 29 2013, 06:19AM
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Jeff Lebowski wrote:

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!

Yeah, totally.. I would think they are in a position to outbid Calgary as well... no?

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#64 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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#65 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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#66 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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#67 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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#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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