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Toronto, ON • Canada • 28 Years Old • Male
Lets say hypothetically the rumoured McCabe for Van Ryn swap happens. Who do you like better as a hockey player. Lets put aside the contract situations, the infamous own goal brain cramp, the pure hatred Leaf fans have towards #24. Is this a good hockey trade for the Leafs? Is Van Ryn an upgrade or a downgrade? I'm curious to hear peoples opinions from a pure hockey point of view. Twenty years ago thats how trades were analyzed and for better or worse we don't get to do this very often anymore.

Bryan McCabe for all his shortcomings still has a cannon of a shot on the PP but much like the "Next McCabe" Sheldon Souray is not a very good player in his own zone. I fully expect to hear the wrath of Oilers fans now. Van Ryn is a slight upgrade in his own zone but is coming off a bad injury and his production seems to be slipping. A change of scenery and a pairing on the powerplay with Kaberle might change that although I expect Kubina to get 1st line PP time. Getting back to the point on the ice I think the projected swap is virtually a wash, with the other factors obviously favouring the Leafs. I'm still hoping The Silver Fox can find a way to get Bryan Allen instead. If that means giving up another roster player so be it but the Leafs have an abundant of offensive Dman capable of playing the powerplay in Kaberle, Kubina, Carlo, White, Stralman and eventually Schenn. The team lacks that "solid" defensive defenseman with apologies to Jeff Finger and Jonas Frogen. They just havent proven themselves at the NHL level yet although they certainly deserve the shot and I for one sincerely hope Leaf fans give Finger a fair shot. After all you cannot fault a man for accepting a lucrative contract. He may not be worth 3.5mil but he deserves a fair chance to show that he can be tha so called "shutdown defenseman" Expectations on Finger should not be so high even if his contract is. He is here because Ron Wilson likes him and thinks he will help out in areas not shown on the scoresheet. Getting back to Allen, he has proven himself to be a very reliable NHL defenseman with much less Risk than Van Ryn.

I've gone on quite the tangent but am I the only one still puzzled as to how Ian White is still a Leaf? The leafs have no less than 9 nhl ready Dmen and White who is not your prototypical Ron Wilson player seems to still be sticking around. You could argue that Kaberle, Kubina, Mccabe or Van Ryn, Finger, Carlo, Stralman, Frogen and Kronvall are higher on the depth chart. Maybe a little patience or AHL time will pay off with him....something the Leafs were not be willing to do with Kyle Wellwood.
Filed Under:   Leafs   McCabe   White   Van Ryn  
August 24, 2008 2:15 PM ET | Delete
McCabe for Van Ryn is obviously a downgrade in talent or Florida wouldn't make the move. Trades are more complicated now, can't just compare players, its a McCabe for Van Ryn and capspace trade. I wouldn't mind seeing more faces change teams though. Its change for change's sake. McCabe may be a good players at times, but he turns his brain off under pressure and just cracks time after time so you're not winning a cup with him. Just like I'm sure team Canada will never invite him back. So who cares if hes gone, he's shown he isn't a piece to the puzzle. Also, Ian White is higher on the depth chart than Stralman, Frogren and Kronvall. Just because Stralman is being compared to the likes of Lidstrom doesn't change the difference in NHL games played or points accumulated. White is a guy that Maurice was throwing out on the PK last year before Kaberle even - obviously considered a valuable D-man for him. I'm not a huge fan because of his size, but we'll see what happens. I highly doubt you'll see him in the AHL this year.
August 24, 2008 3:28 PM ET | Delete
Paul Maurice isnt coach anymore though. White is not a Ron Wilson like player and you have to think stronger defensive players like Kronvall and Frogen as well as a better prospect like Stralman is higher on the depth chart. By the way, I'd like it if I never hear Lidstrom in a Stralman argument again. Comparing the two is downright silly.
August 24, 2008 5:44 PM ET | Delete
By your logic one could make the argument Schenn is higher on the depth chart than Kaberle because he might be better defensively. Until Stralman proves himself to be a better defenseman than White, which may very well be this pre-season, he isn't higher on the depth chart.
August 24, 2008 9:29 PM ET | Delete
Kaberle is a proven All-Star. White is a borderline nhl player who is undersized. I think theres a big difference. Also Schenn is 18 with no professional experience and Stralman is 22 with a couple years (including the SEL) unde his belt. HUGE difference there.
August 25, 2008 10:12 AM ET | Delete
I don't know much about Van Ryn but I think it's a pretty good deal on both sides. I like McCabe despite the tough year he had last year but I think there's a better chance that his game will rebound away from the scrutiny and scorn of Leaf fans. Van Ryn has had a tough go with injuries lately but apparently his wrist has healed up pretty well so I think that both teams are taking a bit of a chance, either player could be an expensive bust or an important contributer. The thing I don't get is why Fletcher would deal for a defenceman. Perhaps the idea is to give Wilson lots of options, see who works out and then unload the surplus D-men. Really though, if this keeps up, between the Leafs with their defence and Tampa with their forwards there won't be enough skaters left for the rest of the league. I think that Stralman will be given every chance to move past White on the depth chart. He's got better size and upside than White, he was impressive playing for Sweden at the Worlds and he was unhappy with the way Maurice used him last year. He is a valuable prospect and I think the Leafs need to give him a real shot at establishing himself or risk making him even more unhappy. As for White, he has been quite good at times but he hasn't been good enough in any other areas to make up for his size, and the difficulties his size creates in handling opposition players physically. I am a little concerned that with so many D-men, the Leafs won't be able to give them enough ice time to establish good value and will end up unloading some of them for little or no return, and Fletcher's already done more of that than I've liked.
August 25, 2008 12:01 PM ET | Delete
McCabe...Van Ryn. Either way playoffs are a long shot guys sorry. At least if Fletch moves the contract he has done you a favour.
August 25, 2008 1:59 PM ET | Delete
McCabe for Van Ryan.... this trade is definately favoured towards Florida. Let's not forget, that before the ideology shift from trap and clutch and grab, McCabe was a D-Man that fit that style. Now, no longer able to use his "can-opener", or "butt-check", what else is left for him to do. McCabe had not really redefined himself yet, and I think that is what contributed more to his OFF-season. Van Ryan was injured, and whatever upside he has, he still has to prove himself. McCabe just needs proper coaching. And less of the media in his face down here in South Florida, he will surely flourish. Giveaways in Panther games barely take up ink on the daily circulations. And if it did, I am sure the coaching staff would encourage their players to have more giveaways to get more press.... But seriously, there is a fan base here, but not as vocal as the Toronto Fans. The Skinny, - McCabe is still a better NHL Player than Van Ryan, and playing on the quiet end of the NHL will leave him to play without pressure in equal magnitude to the Toronto area.VanRyan - the book is open, but not may players can flourish in Toronto. It's not going to be pretty at the ACC this year.
August 25, 2008 2:09 PM ET | Delete
Dude, if an Oiler's fan gives you grief over Sheldon Souray, they are wearing Rose-tinted glasses... Sheldon Souray is quite possibly worse in his own end than McCabe ever was... the dude had 64pts (26goals!!) and was still -28 on a fairly decent hockey team... compared to McCabe's 68pts (19goals) and -1 on pretty bad Leafs team. McCabe has better footspeed, better lateral movement and just plain on better instincts in his own end... when he plays with confidence there are very few gaffes
August 25, 2008 2:16 PM ET | Delete
as for the question: McCabe is overall a better player than Van Ryn... Van Ryn is more mobile and a better puckmover, but McCabe is more physical, has a bigger shot and can log more minutes, not to mention is healthier
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