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Earlier this afternoon, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke discussed numerous topics on Leafs Lunch – Leafs Nation Edition with Dennis Bayak. With the Leafs playing much better than their winless start, they may make some noise during the trade deadline or as Burke alluded to before it.
Personally I have always admired Burke’s honesty in discussing his teams. He usually gives his fans a perspective on what he plans to do while playing his cards close to the chest. The GM of the 2010 Team USA program also announced he will release the roster on Monday, December 28th.
Lets break down some of the topics discussed.
On the State of the Team
A few things going around the league. Nothing huge on the trade front as can be anticipated. Most rumors or big deals will not materialize until at least February when we have clear cut buyers and sellers.
Bob MacKenzie reports, via Twitter, both of these players have been placed on waivers.
According to Chip Alexander’s Canes Now starter Cam Ward is expected to play Wednesday making the Leighton expendable to the team. In parts of three seasons with Carolina the 28-year-old held a line of 8-12-0-2 averaging a GAA of over three. With other established backups such as Joey MacDonald and Steve Valiquette passing through waivers earlier in the year I would expect there to be few takers on the veteran.
In other news the New York Islanders also placed 30-year-old Jeremy Reich on waivers. The Craik, Saskatchewan native did not play a game for the Isles and has six points over 99 career NHL games with the Bruins and Blue Jackets. He was originally drafted in the 2nd round by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
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TSN’s Bob MacKenzie reported a trade of former first rounders. The last place Carolina Hurricanes moved their most recent first round selection, Phillipe Paradis, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jiri Tlusty.
The Hurricanes get an NHL ready player who can be inserted in their lineup immediately. Similar to their deals last year for Jussi Jokinen and Eric Cole the team gets a player who has shown flashes of offensive ability but fallen out of favor with their teams. Considering that Tlusty is only three years removed from his 13th overall selection giving up a young prospect like Paradis does not hurt as much.
Held scoreless in his two games with the Leafs, the 21-year-old put up 15 points in 18 games with their AHL affiliate. In 66 games last year in the A, the Czech native averaged a point per game with the Marlies. At his age, his production at the AHL level translates to the ability to hold a regular shift. Partner that with familiarity with coach Paul Maurice and the youngster should make a seamless transition to the Canes