Breaking News from NHL.com:
Toronto acquires LW Ryan Hamilton from Minnesota in exchange for LW Robbie Earl.
This is pretty much a lateral move in terms of both teams exchanging a pair of underachieving 23 year old left wingers with the hope that a change in scenery would do them both some good.
After being selected so late in the ’04 draft by the Leafs, he proclaimed himself to be a steal and vowed to make other teams realize their mistake. He proceeded to back up his words with back-to-back oustanding seasons, scoring 94 points over his last 83 NCAA games. Unfortunately, that skill hasn’t really translated to the pro level, with Earl recording just 87 points in 169 AHL games. Despite showing some signs of improvement last season, he has once again been in a big-time funk to start the year.
I suppose it’s simply a matter of Burke realizing that a player like Earl would have to be earning a top six role at the NHL level to be most effective, and that the odds of that happening were extremely slim. As a result, he cashed in his asset to get a big, physical grinder in Ryan Hamilton. Standing at 6’2 230 lbs, Hamilton provides some more toughness and grit to the organization and perhaps future depth for the bottom six roles. Hamilton has 12 points in 29 games played this season.
Always a pleasure,