The Associated Press has reported that free agent Mike Van Ryn will sit out the upcoming NHL season to continue rehabilitation of his left knee.
Van Ryn has been plagued with injuries throughout his career, having played only 47 games in the past three years and missing the entire 2009-2010 season.
The loss of Van Ryn for another year may play into the Leafs' plans for the upcoming season, as there was speculation that Van Ryn could be signed to replace Tomas Kaberle should Toronto choose to trade the veteran Czech defenseman.
Many observers, myself included, felt that a healthy Van Ryn could provide a valuable asset for the Leafs at a low cost should Kaberle leave the team. Given his recent injury track record Van Ryn would likely have cost less than $2 million for the upcoming year .
My feeling was that if Van Ryn could return to his pre 2009 form he could be a solid #5 on the Toronto blue line, enabling Toronto to deal Kaberle with more confidence and also possibly save cap dollars by sending Jeff Finger to the minors .