NHL News: Toronto Maple Leafs Waive Defenseman Jeff Finger

Name NameCorrespondent IOctober 12, 2010

Finger will be with the Marlies for the year, unless he earns a call-up due to an injury on the Leafs defense core.
Finger will be with the Marlies for the year, unless he earns a call-up due to an injury on the Leafs defense core.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday after practice that the Leafs have waived everybody's favourite whipping boy, Jeff Finger.

If he clears waivers by noon Wednesday, which is very likely due to his $3.5 million salary, Finger will be sent to Toronto's American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.

This is a move that probably surprised nobody. Finger was the odd man out on the Leafs this season, a team that was already carrying seven NHL defensemen.

The veteran defender was a healthy scratch for a good chunk of last year, and was likely on pace for a similar season in 2010-11.

“We’ve got seven guys better than him right now, and that’s what it came down to. And we’re not going to carry eight defenseman, we don’t even want to carry two extra forwards.” Wilson had to say about the situation. “If Fings (Finger) plays well, and somebody on our team isn’t, then we recall him. We’re not burying him or anything like that.”

Finger played 105 games for the Leafs, posting a decent eight goals and 25 assists in that time span, but the number that frightened most was his minus-18.

Strangely enough, in his 94 games with the Avalanche, he posted a plus-22, which brings upon another question.

Is Finger really to blame?

Well, we all know the answer to that. Due to the fact that he was outplayed by a staggering number of defensemen during his tenure with the Leafs, I think it's safe to say that he is not the same player he was in Colorado.

However, if the Leafs can somehow pull off a deal to move Finger, I wouldn't be surprised if he could crack another NHL lineup.

Look for Finger to debut with the Marlies soon, and possibly earn a call-up if any Leaf defenders get injured.

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