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.