Bryan McCabe: Four Days Left as a Toronto Maple Leaf?

Jack PorterCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2008

Many believe that when the calendar reaches Sept. 1 Bryan McCabe will be on a flight headed to Miami. So with McCabe's time winding down, let's take a look at the downfall of his Maple Leaf career.

In the 2005-2006 season Bryan exploded for 68 points in 73 games. He had developed a powerful and accurate one-timer from the point. The shot fooled goaltenders and other teams. This career season led to a bloated contract that was surrounded by drama even before McCabe inked his name on it.    

Bryan waited until the last day before free agency to sign the contract. Rumours swirled that he was interested in signing with the Islanders or Rangers. The truth came out of a teary eyed McCabe when he told reporters that he had waited so long because his wife needed to have major surgery and he wanted to have things in order before signing a five-year, $29 million contract.

After an average season for someone with such a large contract, Bryan wanted to start last season fresh. Only seven games into the season Toronto was playing Buffalo in a game that went into overtime. McCabe, in an attempt to clear the puck, batted it into his own net, giving Buffalo the overtime win.

The next day the Toronto Sun's cover featured a picture of McCabe and the headline "Bryan McKlutz" in big yellow block letters. This nickname stuck with him the entire season.

2007-2008 saw Bryan commit countless gaffs and sloppy plays. A dramatic fall in point production made Bryan want to throw a bag over his head to hide his face and his goofy mustache.

The offseason was seen as the time to kick McCabe to the curb. There was just one problem: buying McCabe out would be to pricey and McCabe wasn't about to let them trade him. He would not waive his no trade clause (another brilliant contract perk given to him by JFJ).

As the calendar flipped its way into August a story broke that McCabe was considering a trade. Like a godsend, just a few days later Nick Kypreos of SportsNet, reported that Toronto and Florida had agreed in principle to a trade that would see McCabe exchanged for Mike Van Ryn.

McCabe accepted this trade, but JFJ (again) had given Bryan a contract bonus to be paid on Sept. 1.

So as we wait for the trade to become official, a new story has developed. Rival Ottawa, who have been unable to sign young defenseman Andrei Meszaros, are in need of an offensive defenseman and may be willing to take a gamble and trade for provincial rival Toronto's fallen star.