The general consensus of the 2013 NHL 3pm trade deadline on April 3rd was that it is no longer worth taking the day off from work to sit at home with a brew or three in order to watch the flurry of trade activity we have become so accustomed to in the past in order to satisfy our proverbial hockey chubbies. I agree with mainstream media that the NHL should seriously reconsider a trade deadline format that would cram all the goodness into one big day, it would most certainly help with exposure in the Unites States, globally even and gives the rest of us back that excuse of calling in sick from work. All things considered the Maple Leafs were still pretty active.
Dave Nonis paying a visit to Mikka Kiprusoff to discern whether or not he would be interested in joining Toronto and extending past the end of this season. In Kippers defense there are rumors that his family are going through some trying times due to medical concerns surrounding his newborn son and that he may actually retire from the game at the end of this year. I think anyone with children can imagine how difficult a situation like that could be and it is no wonder he is having some difficulties keep his head in the game as of late.
On the other hand it was later reported that there was a tentative deal in place for current Vancouver Canuck Roberto Luongo with Toronto sending Ben Scrivens, a second round pick and a third round pick in exchange for the beleaguered goalie. Unfortunately a sticking point surfaced when Vancouver refused to retain some of Luongo’s salary and talks fell through. Canucks GM Mike Gillis is still attempting to pull off a hockey trade when the entire hockey world, including the Leafs can see quite clearly that no team will take on a contract of that length without some sort of capitulation from the Canucks. Thankfully both Burke and Nonis have stuck to their guns with this trade and perhaps they can get something done in the off season (as I mentioned below I still believe he would assist the team in taking another step forward).
A hard nosed defensive defenseman from the Colorado Avalanche, 28 year old Ryan O’Bryne strikes at imposing figure at 6’5” and 235 lbs. He plays a defense first game and is not afraid to muck with the best of them in the dirty areas and is one of the leaders on the Avalanche in both hits and blocked shots. The exchange was for Toronto’s 4th round pick in the 2014 draft which is pretty easy to swallow for any additional depth at defense. Some musings out of Colorado was that O’Bryne was known to take poorly timed penalties and is not the most fleet of foot. It does make me chuckle however that Leafs nation is acting like O’Byrne was picked up to play top 4 minutes, relax people, he wasn’t nor will he unless there are significant injuries during the playoffs. What he does bring is experience and another warm body to rotate on the bottom pairing should injuries occur during the run. Remember what happened to Vancouver’s D core a couple years ago during the playoffs? this is just cheap security and nothing more…he is a UFA after all at the end of this season (as per capgeek.com)
Wait, I don’t remember that trade. Exactly, there wasn’t one for MacWilliam but no less important; it was still an addition made yesterday to the Maple Leafs organization. MacWilliam will in all likelihood report to the Marlies for their stretch drive in pursuit of an AHL playoff berth. Here are his stats courtesy of hockeydb.com:
Born Mar 25 1990 Calgary, AL
Height 6.02, weight 220, shoots L
Selected by Toronto Maple Leafs round 7 #188 overall 2008 NHL Entry Draft
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
2009-10 U. of North Dakota WCHA 43 0 3 3 87
2010-11 U. of North Dakota WCHA 37 0 8 8 49
2011-12 U. of North Dakota WCHA 42 2 5 7 75
2012-13 U. of North Dakota WCHA 41 2 11 13 116
“A character person both on and off the ice, MacWilliam has established a niche as a rugged defensive defender at the NCAA. A defenseman capable of delivering punishing hits, MacWilliam anticipates the play very well which aids to his ability to lay the body. He’s mobile for his style of game and is capable of moving the puck efficiently from the back-end. Limited offensively, he’ll need to translate his style of game to the pro level.” Courtesy of HockeyFutures.com
He is definitely a player who is not afraid to play the body, check out of the videos below.
Looking forward to the summer and the changes that will most likely come but the Leafs are still playing exciting hockey, as are the Marlies these days who if it wasn’t for the recent call up of Colborne and Hamilton will still be cruising along at a great pace but I am sure Lasch doesn’t mind the additional ice time and the chance to make an impression. As always, food for thought.