If O'Byrne forces Gardiner out of the lineup, that's a problem

Cam Charron
April 03 2013 03:31PM

We know from earlier that Ryan O'Byrne is an unspectacular, yet usable defenceman that was acquired by the Toronto Maple Leafs for a fourth round pick. The fourth round pick hardly matters. Few fourth round picks become National Hockey Leaguers, and after about the second round teams will go into the depth sections of consensus boards and dig 6'8" defencemen out of Austria playing in the Swiss junior league.

As with the Korbinian Holzer contract, this trade indicates something worse, that the Maple Leafs current process for making decisions is flawed. I like the deal for O'Byrne in a vaccuum, since he can immediately jump on the ice and play with John-Michael Liles or Carl Gunnarsson in 2nd pairing minutes. That opens up Dion Phaneuf to play alongside Cody Franson, and gives room on the third pairing for a Jake Gardiner-Mike Kostka pairing in sheltered minutes.

Except it may not be that way.

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Toronto Maple Leafs acquire defenceman Ryan O'Byrne

Cam Charron
April 03 2013 01:57PM

There is a long history of defencemen who played alongside Andrei Markov, played well next to him, got a good free agent deal and were set for life.

Ryan O'Byrne is the first two of those things, by that he is a defenceman, and he played alongside Andrei Markov. He did not play particularly well alongside Andrei Markov and the Montreal Canadiens traded Ryan O'Byrne before he even got to free agency.

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired that defenceman Wednesday afternoon.

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Kipper stays in Calgary - Leafs Nation exhales

Cam Charron
April 03 2013 10:30AM

TSN is reporting this morning that Miikka Kiprusoff has decided to stay in Calgary. Kent Wilson over at Flames Nation has the longer take.

Why is this notable? Because for two days, Leafs Nation was sent into a frenzy as it appeared that they were in fact, interested in the veteran goaltender out of Calgary. It was a move that never really made any sense. Why would a team that has a relatively bare prospects cupboard sacrifice any of those pieces for a goaltender with a save percentage that's been unprecedented since the 1980s? (Kiprusoff has a .868). Why would a team with an emerging goaltender pay anything for another goaltender to add to the mix? Why would the Leafs add a goaltender whose salary cap hit is $5.83-million next season?

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Deadline Day: Checklist for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Cam Charron
April 03 2013 02:40AM

It's Deadline Day in the NHL. Yesterday gave us several deals that uprooted Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy from Dallas and sent Ryan Clowe to the New York Rangers. But there are still a few names on the horizon, and generally, deadline deals that we don't expect go through.

The big names are off the table, but the Leafs have yet to make any major deals this season. They still have two interesting impending unrestricted free agents in Clarke MacArthur and Tyler Bozak and winger Nik Kulemin may have garnered some interest. Right now the Leafs look to be comfortably in the playoffs, but they still lag behind Pittsburgh, Boston and Montreal as far as being a contender goes. Today is the last chance Toronto have to bolster the roster until after the Stanley Cup Finals. What will they do? What should they do?

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Miikka Kiprusoff, cont.:

Cam Charron
April 02 2013 05:05PM

My thoughts on Kiprusoff are well-known. I just wanted to put the thought out there before anything concrete happens in this un-ending "will the Leafs find a goalie they don't need" saga. The Toronto Maple Leafs would not be able to discuss any form of extension for Kiprusoff until July 1, when he'd have one year left on his current contract. The Toronto Maple Leafs would not be able to adjust Kiprusoff's $5.83-million salary cap hit next season.

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