Parting thoughts on Joe Colborne

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Thanks to Gus Katsaros for stopping by with a few thoughts on now-Calgary Flame Joe Colborne…

Even if you sensed Joe Colborne’s time with the Leafs was dwindling after a less than impressive 2013 training camp, it was a little disappointing to see a former 16th overall draft selection – who many Leafs fans were still holding out hope for, and once considered among the organization’s top prospects – jettisoned for a 4th round draft pick.

Randy Carlyle perhaps put it best:

“The way this thing works is the bus only goes by so many times. And you want to be on that bus. That was the way it was when I started and it’s the way it’s been for years.”

Colborne, 24 in January and prone to waivers, missed the bus for his last time with the Leafs.

Where did it go wrong with Colborne in Toronto?

There’s a slight misconception surrounding the impact of his wrist injury and how affected his development. It was a contributing factor, of course, but other elements weren’t growing into the ideal high-end potential envisioned when he was acquired. The wrist injury contributed, but wasn’t the sole reason for limiting himself to operating on the outskirts, becoming less of a net presence, and reverting into a perimeter player. I understand the injury caused some stagnation in his path, but with time I’ve started to move away from it as the sole major factor.

On the MLHS Hangout, I touched on how, prior to the wrist injury, Colborne was beginning to show signs of finding his inside game, and was learning to assert himself and his big frame. That never fully materialized. He began operating from the outside, relying on vision and distribution skills to keep the play moving into the middle. A problem wrist would limit the ability to get into high traffic areas, to work the boards and engage in puck battles, especially when he isn’t an overly physical player for his size and relies on his stick work. That type of commitment could cause as much individual strain. As would faceoffs, which was another reason I thought he could play the wing instead of lining up as a center.

Upon acquiring Colborne, Brian Burke immediately indicated his skill set and set the ‘at worst’ prognosis as a David Steckel-type player. Steckel was recently released from his PTO with the Minnesota Wild, was available for nothing, and wound up signing with the Flames.

In the end, Colborne just wasn’t yet showing the intensity required to become an impact player in anything more than an NHL support role. Further, he no longer fit into the roster, and waiver rules being what they are, his time ran out with the Maple Leafs.

From Calgary’s perspective, the upside here is intriguing enough to pay an asset value like a 4th round pick (with conditions); a pittance in the grand scheme for an affordable player who can play on the roster, instead of taking the chance Colborne was waived and claimed by a team ahead of them in the rotation. The added benefit is maintaining the waiver wire slot and potentially picking up another player they may have interest in bringing into the fold.

In the end, it was a matter of one team with a cap crunch and no roster spot available, and another team with a need for upgraded talent with the room to take a chance on a player with upside at a cheap price.

***


The Secret Life of Bobby Ryan

Big respect for the character of this player, Sens property aside. Also, Brian Burke is a good human.

Joe Colborne: Mistakes and New Beginnings
Sensible move forced to happen by mistakes from the team, says Jeffler.


Rating the Leafs in 10 key categories

Michael expands on the exercise carried out by the Maple Leaf Hangout panel last episode.

The Leaf Report Podcast with Siegel and Mirtle
The duo wrap up training camp and look ahead to the season.

Morgan Rielly makes the cut, for now
Curious to see who rotates in and out for Rielly – presumably Fraser, but I (Alec) don’t think Ranger played particularly well in his final few preseason appearances.

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  • LeafsForLife

    Great job! Thank you for this!

    I had higher expectations for Joe and disappointed he had to be let go for such a cheap return. But i wish him the best in Calgary.

  • Optimustic

    Agree with the article, it’s just too bad Joe couldn’t make it work.   Ashton and most of the other bubble players came into camp a lot hungrier than Joe did.  Would have been nice to get a better return but the circumstances didn’t allow much, so it was a 4th or lose him to waivers.

  • peterbleafs

    He was big, he was strong, he was talented…but the wake up call he needed was a trade out of town.  Calgary will be thanking us for this trade.  Unfortunately there was no alternative.

  • Knights2Leafs

    “In the end, it was a matter of one team with a cap crunch and no roster spot available”
    “Sensible move forced to happen by mistakes from the team, says Jeffler.”In the overall scheme of things the loss of Colborne is probably not a big deal but I agree with the above comments that it’s managements lack of management that has cost us the opportunity to see if Joe could have finally succeeded once given an NHL shot.

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Won’t know for sure till noon but I doubt he gets claimed . Once he’s buried the chances of moving him are even harder . Nonis will likely have to re-visit a regular buyout next yr.

  • JeffNB

    CanuckUKinToronto 
    If Liles goes to the Marlies for the year there is no way we will be able to trade hime with that contract. He gets bought out next summer.

  • Knights2Leafs

    I would be okay if Rielly ends up playing with Fraser but think that Ranger is the better match.
    All 3 are left handed and of those 3, I think Ranger has the most versatility in being able to slide over to the right side.  It would not be wise to put Morgan there and while Fraser is not as slow as some think, he isn’t mobile enough to move to the right side.

  • TMLConnor

    Random thought*
    If Phanuef signs with the Leafs, how much money do you guys think they’ll give him + term. As well if the leafs dont sign him because he wants too much $, who do you think will snatch him?

  • TMLConnor

    CanuckUKinToronto Yaknowwhat TMLConnor Yeah i wish we could get him signed like 7 years at about 5.5, then not have to worry about him for a while.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Yaknowwhat
    Please try reading the comment to understand its context.  I didn’t blame management for his so-called shortcomings.  I blame management for creating cap issues that caused us to have give up on him too soon.  One last time – if we did not have Liles there would have been room for Ashton, Devane and Colborne to be given a chance to succeed.
    Colborne over his tenure with the Leafs was given all of 16 regular season NHL games and scored 6 points.  Ashton played 15 games and has zero points.  But to be clear, these are 2 different types of players and I’m not saying these stats prove Colborne is better. They have different roles.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Yaknowwhat I just don’t see the point of the trade.  I’m not sure that it addressed any cap issues, he didn’t play that poorly, it was only a few preseason games, and the Leafs have very little depth at centre.  Essentially gave him away way too soon.

  • TMLConnor

    Yaknowwhat CanuckUKinToronto TMLConnor Yeah not saying thats what id do, Just saying thats what he’ll want

  • Burtonboy

    Yaknowwhat TMLConnor I have a sneaky suspicion your going to be disappointed yak :)

  • LeafsManiac

    TMLConnor well considering he’s a UFA, he will probably just walk at the end of the year.

  • http://hopeinthebigsmoke.ca/ hope_smoke

    If you’re looking for some more Leaf content here’s my article from this morning: http://hopeinthebigsmoke.ca/stealing-money-2/

  • LeafsManiac

    And Burke has started already. This is what Burke does, he gets underachieving former first round picks and puts them in a opportunity to blossom. IMO he just stoke Colbourne from us, this is the first trade in sometime where it seems we absolutely got fleeced. A fourth round pick? really that’s it, we got mike O’byrne or whatever that guys name was for a firggen fourth round pick.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Yaknowwhat MaxwellHowe Why would he have to be waived though?  Was the $600 000 going to break the salary cap bank?

  • Burtonboy

    If Kessel is to be signed before the season starts you would have to think it will be today . You wouldn’t think the team would want all the media hoopla that would surround that on a game day .

  • phaneufoundlander

    Exactly, and he’s 24….he should have been pressing for 3rd line duties now…look at the strides Kadri made….Colbourne showed very little improvement since the day he was aquired…Chirelli is no dumb dumb….

  • LeafsManiac

    Yaknowwhat LeafsManiac Well I see it more being Leafs not giving him a chance to show he belonged. Like Kadri a few training camps ago, wilson said he was ready bc he didn’t stand out when he was playing with boyd devereaux, same for Colbourne he was playing with a bunch of plugs. 
    Anyways it is what it is, I’m just saying that Calgary hosed us and I think Colbourne will blossom with the opportunity to play out there. Nonis pushed Colbourne out the door by signing Clarkson, Raymond, Bolland and only leaving the door open for a forth line spot which clearly wasn’t beneficial to Colbourne. I like what Burke did with this team but I’m a little concerned about what Nonis is doing and the cap issues he’s creating going forward.

  • LeafsManiac

    phaneufoundlander Well in fairness he did make strides. Lets not forget he played well in the playoffs for us last year. Like kadri he was a ppg player in the AHL. IMO we got hosed, we could of kept him as our 13th forward rather then lose him for nothing

  • Dan39

    I like the comparison of Colborne to Steckel, that’s right on the money:both were floater/gliders that lacked intensity and compete. I’m glad both are gone and only hope that that reinforces in the players minds the idea that you play how Carlyle wants you to play – you compete, you battle, every shift.

  • Burtonboy

    As for Burke or anyone else in management getting fleeced in the Colborne deal then you need to re -vist the situation . Kaberle had the hammer with his NTC . Yep the trade hasn’t worked out but we were lucky in the fist place to get anything for Tomas. Just remember he nixed a deal where we could have had Jeff Carter .

  • JWasted

    Yaknowwhat LeafsManiac They must have really given up on Colborne. Why else trade/waive him instead of use him instead of a more expansive call up like Ashton. Yea Ashton, Devane and Leivo deserved it more, but I wouldn’t throw away a player for a 4th round pick if I still had believe in him in the long run. I wouldn’t make long term moves for short term succes.

  • Bobsyouruncle

    Yaknowwhat Knights2Leafs Management painted themselves into a corner. Now when we could have had him as the 14th forward and see what Joe can do in the NHL we don’t have cap to create that roster spot for him. We can’t even carry a 14th forward because of cap mismanagement.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Yaknowwhat
    Lol – Burke signed him and Nonis neglected to use a compliance buyout.  Apportion the blame as you see fit.

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks !

  • LeafsManiac

    Burtonboy so we got a fourth for Kaberle. That isn’t my arguement tho, Burke did fine getting a great prospect for him, Nonis just gave that prospect away without even seeing what he could do in a top six role. skill has to play with skill. This has as much to do with Carlyle, similar to how randy wanted to get rid of grabo he got his way again and got rid of  colbourne

  • Burtonboy

    LeafsManiac Burtonboy Colborne was given every chance to take that job. Cripes he was practically penciled in this yr. Maybe he got complacent and though he had the job wrapped up I don’t known. Fact of the matter is he got beat out by other players so Nonis wasn’t left with any other option given he wasn’t waiver eligible . Either you let him be claimed for nothing or you get what you can.IMO.

  • TMLConnor

    LeafsManiac TMLConnor Yeah just hoping if we get him its not 6mill and not over 6 years. But he is the captain, so we will see how it turns out

  • Burtonboy

    -Keon- LeafsManiac Burtonboy The kid blew it plain and simple

  • Mind Bomb

    JWasted Yaknowwhat LeafsManiac  Morning J, I think its more our roster is to Tough for him to Crack, or spend time waiting for someone who might work out. Our top 6 once Kessel is signed is locked up for the foreseeable Future. Colburne was never going to supplant Kadri or bozak, JVR Kes, Lups, Clarkson. This is our core for the next 4 years. Colburne was going no where as a leaf

  • Burtonboy

    -Keon- Burtonboy LeafsManiac Its all about the hits …wise up Keon :)))))))))

  • TuckerForPunishment

    We need a new blog.  We already beat this dead horse.  This is yesterdays discussion.

  • JWasted

    Mind Bomb JWasted Yaknowwhat LeafsManiac Yea i thought of that too and I agree with you. But trading for a 4th? He must really smell bad

  • Mind Bomb

    TuckerForPunishment Its funny how my attitude has changed now that we have an actual core. I am like, Joe Colburne, who fucking cares lol 
    Go Gauthier, he;s our man, Colburne’s out in a garbage Can !

  • MaxwellHowe

    Yaknowwhat MaxwellHowe 
    I realize all that, but I suggest proper asset management should have motivated the Leafs to add him to the starting lineup as a 4th line winger for now.  No, I just think this was all too impulsive.  Maybe R C wanted to send a message to everyone, I don’t know.

  • Komas Taberle

    -Keon- Nice story, he is very lucky.hope he makes team.

  • Mind Bomb

    -Keon- Mind Bomb TuckerForPunishment  DJ at a Strip Bar ?

  • Mind Bomb

    JWasted Mind Bomb Yaknowwhat LeafsManiac Aye not what I woudl have liked for a return

  • Mind Bomb

    -Keon- Mind Bomb TuckerForPunishment The Raven Rocket ! Google that, NSFW

  • heatdreamer

    TMLConnor 4 -5 years for 6 a year

  • Mind Bomb

    Yaknowwhat -Keon- Mind Bomb TuckerForPunishment  Dam Now I want a Beer lol

  • JWasted

    Mind Bomb JWasted Yaknowwhat LeafsManiac And Bozak being a lock freaks me out sometimes.

  • heatdreamer

    Yaknowwhat TMLConnor that is why you are a blogger

  • Mind Bomb

    JWasted Mind Bomb Yaknowwhat  lol your not alone in that :)

  • MaxwellHowe

    Yaknowwhat Now you just sound insecure about the whole thing

  • colino17

    LeafsManiac Yaknowwhat They tried Joe between top-sixers in a few of his games…and he was given the chance to play in pretty near (if not) every game of the pre-season. To me he was given more than a fair shake. They damn near hung the brass ring off his nose and he still couldn’t grab it.

  • The Truth Hurts

    Yaknowwhat  
     Was he better than Connolly, Lombardi and Steckel?

  • Dan39

    Yaknowwhat All this nonsense about giving up on him like it’s just a matter of time before first rounders play like first rounders. 
    NO – that’s not how it is. More often than not, first rounders under-perform. 
    Joe is a bust. It’s not even uncommon. Not a question of waiting, he’s just a bust. There’s no excuses – he’s not injured, he’s had multiple shots – he’s a bust. That’s it.