Joe Colborne Traded to Calgary Flames for 4th round pick

Joe Colborne Traded
Joe Colborne Traded

6’6 Centerman Joe Colborne has been traded to the Calgary Flames for a 4th round pick in 2014.

Count this as Brian Burke‘s first move as GM of the Calgary Flames President of the Calgary Flames.

Colborne was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the first round (16th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, and in 2011 was traded to Toronto along with a 1st round pick in 2011 (Tyler Biggs) and a conditional 2nd round pick in exchange for Tomas Kaberle. The Leafs parlayed that 2nd round pick into John-Michael Liles (who ties back into this, if you keep reading).

Colborne signed a one-way $600,000 contract with the Leafs in the summertime. With his waiver eligibility now a factor, Colborne was nearing a fork in the road in terms of time with the Leafs. Leafs brain trust was expecting it all to begin to come together for Big Joe this season after he finished up last season with the Leafs during their playoff run.

Colborne has had a myriad of injuries that stunted his growth at the NHL level. Certainly impacting two years of his development was his battle with wrist injuries and lingering effects thereafter. The other side to Colborne’s inability to crack the pro roster was an inconsistent game. Colborne seemed to introduce an element of added speed over the summer and came into camp a little bit quicker. Perhaps still struggling to process the game at an NHL level, it didn’t seem to translate into him making much of an impact.

It’s a shame we won’t get to see it through and find out if Colborne can piece together all the tools at his disposal in a Leaf sweater. For obvious reasons, the return is a pittance. Perhaps Colborne could have stuck around a little longer with the luxury of cap space, but there’s little doubt it was eventually stick or goodbye for Colborne this fall.

This may be indicative of a decision to keep Morgan Rielly with the big club and instead shed Colborne’s contract, along with $925,000 of Liles’, Holzer’s and one of Smith or Ashton’s, to become cap compliant before Monday’s deadline.

On episode two of the MLHS Hangout, Gus Katsaros argued that Colborne might find more success on the wing at the NHL level:

[pull_quote_center]Colborne, while they are still using him as a centre, I feel is probably end up a little bit more productive on the wing. I don’t mean statistically productive, I mean as far as an on-ice product. The one thing I felt about Colborne – when he first came to the Maple Leafs, he was a much better slot and net presence; he played crease-to-crease, he knew where to be as a centre. Last year, after his injury, there as a dynamic change in the way that he approached the game—he became a perimeter player. A perimeter player is not a problem, if you are going to be playing the wing, because he does have the distribution ability, and vision to make plays into the center of the ice. However, they seem to want to move him into centre, and I just don’t feel he’s excelling at this point. When you watch him on the Marlies, you see he does most of his work from that perimeter.

If he is going to be a perimeter player, use him on the wing.[/pull_quote_center]

There’s little doubt Colborne was of some value to the Leafs still, a value which is not reflected in this trade. If any of the Leafs’ top 4 centers of Bozak, Kadri, Bolland and McClement go down to injury, who is ready to jump into the lineup at center?

  • Eye of the Tiger

    Colborne traded to Calgary for 4th round pick 2014

  • Bring the Cup Home

    man, wasn’t it supposed to be colborne and liles?  i’d of taken a 7th rounder for that.  but a 4th rounder (3rd at best) for colborne?  you’d think we could have gotten a 2nd out of them.

  • Cameron19

    Hope there is more coming.  Liles on waivers to be claimed by the Flames, perhaps?

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    So colborne is worth the same as brown?

  • Radar O’Rielly


  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    I wished the Leafs got more for Colborne

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    but then again Leafs might have gotten nothign had he gone tru waivers.

  • Bring the Cup Home

    hearing the interview with weiss during the 2nd intermission makes me want the leafs to develop rielly slower and send him down.  if he can do 6 or 7 games with the big club then go down, light up the world juniors and hopefully join the marlies for a playoff run, that’d be a great year for him and he’d come to camp next year ready to play.  
    i’d sense that at some point the leafs will parlay some of their great young D into a sizeable trade.  if rielly proves to be a better version of what gardiner brings, nonis may very well move gardiner at some point.  we won’t be able to pay rielly, phaneuf, gardiner, franson for the long term.  they may all well be $6+ million D-men in a few years.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    Colborne is going to get more opportunities in Calgary. Flames got a very nice return.

  • mcloki

    So long Joe. Better luck out West.