As per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Toronto Maple Leafs winger/enforcer Frazer McLaren has been placed on waivers. The 26 year old Winnipeg native has no points and 72 penalty minutes (6 fights) in 26 games played this season.
You’re probably super excited right now, because this totally means a changing of the guard, right? No more valuing of intimidation over skill! Don’t get too ahead of yourself though. Here are the realities of the situation.
- The Leafs are very tight against the cap, which makes activating David Bolland off of IR and having some room to make adjustments at the trade deadline a bit problematic. Especially with Peter Holland still in the lineup, waiving somebody is the best option.
- Trevor Smith and Troy Bodie were the expected waiver casualties if it got to that point, but both have shown themselves to be quality contributors to the team when in the lineup, and Bodie has shown no hesitance to drop the gloves as well. Both would likely be claimed by other NHL teams; McLaren may slip through the cracks.
- Of the two pure enforcers on the team, the Leafs value Colton Orr over Fraser McLaren. I’m not quite sure why; McLaren is a quicker skater, and seems more responsible positionally (though it’s a thinnest kid at fat camp scenario). He comes at a $225,000 lower cap hit. He even fights more often and more effectively, winning 4 of 8 scraps over Orr’s 1 of 6 (all figures from HockeyFights.com). With that said, Orr has played nearly twice as many games.
- By the way, it’s Colton Orr’s birthday.
As for McLaren’s impact on the Marlies if he clears, I wouldn’t hold my breath in hopes of him being a superstar. In his last 86 AHL games, he has 2 goals and 4 assists to go with 231 penalty minutes. There’s a plethora of guys on that team who can drop the mitts and contribute, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t play all too much at this level either. Who knows though; maybe he can surprise.