In a season geared more towards the June entry draft than an April playoff berth, and with the World Junior Championships, the annual showcase of young hockey talent, stealing the hockey headlines as of late – at least in Canada, – it’s hard not to start dwelling on the possibilities available for the Maple Leafs when June rolls around. There are perhaps more imminent Leaf matters at hand in the form of the changes Brian Burke is expected to execute in the nearer few months, but I think I speak on behalf of all of Leaf Nation when I say last June, the time at which the Leafs welcomed Luke Schenn to the organization, was one of the most exciting and promising moments for the fanbase in recent times. This June will hopefully bring about similar jubilation and promise as Burke adds at least one more prized first-round pick to the fold of the re-building Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs are looking to rebound from probably their worst effort of the season with a win over the John Tavares front-runners inside the Nassau Coliseum tonight.
image via maple leafs.com
The Maple Leafs look to extend their two game winning streak Tuesday night as they entertain the New Jersey Devils sans Martin Brodeur. Rookie Jeremy Williams looks to continue a streak of his own having scored in each of his first two appearances this season.
After enjoying his much-deserved holiday, Cliff Fletcher will sit down with Brian Burke in early January to structure his new role within the organization as per the man himself. It is expected he’ll assume a role in the senior adviser capacity.
The team has confirmed the reported deal in a 5:41pm press release:
Leafs Acquire Mike Van Ryn
Toronto Maple Leafs
Sep 2, 2008, 5:41 PM EDT
Cliff Fletcher, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the team has traded defenceman Bryan McCabe and their fourth-round draft selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to the Florida Panthers. In exchange, the Maple Leafs receive veteran defenceman Mike Van Ryn.
Van Ryn, 29, completed his seventh NHL season and fourth with Florida in 2007-08. A wrist injury in November and the subsequent surgery sidelined him for the final 60 games last season. The native of London, Ontario recorded two points (both assists) in 20 contests in 2007-08. He turned professional after signing as a free agent by St. Louis on June 30, 2000 and he was later traded to Florida on March 11, 2003 for Valeri Bure and Floridaâ€™s fifth-round choice (Nikita Nikitin) in the 2004 Entry Draft. Van Ryn set career-highs in goals (13), points (37-tie) and powerplay goals (six) in his first season with the Panthers in 2003-04. Internationally, he represented Canada at the World Junior Championships in 1998 and 1999 and he was a member of the University of Michiganâ€™s 1998 NCAA National Championship team.
Last season with Toronto, McCabe recorded five goals and 18 assists in 54 games with 81 penalty minutes. McCabe, 33 ranks sixth on the clubâ€™s all-time scoring list among team defencemen with 297 points by virtue of his 83 goals and 214 assists. He is tied for 33rd on the Leafsâ€™ all-time scoring list and he sits in 32nd spot on the teamâ€™s all-time games played list with 523 games.
In 917 career NHL games with the Islanders, Canucks, Blackhawks and Maple Leafs he has 115 goals and 303 assists for 418 points with 1,574 minutes in penalties.
McCabe was originally acquired by Toronto from Chicago in exchange for Alexander Karpovtsev and the Leafsâ€™ fourth-round draft choice (Vladimir Gusev) in the 2001 Entry Draft. He was the New York Islandersâ€™ second choice, 40th overall, in the 1993 Entry Draft.