Don't Expect Bryan McCabe to Crack the Florida Panthers Starting Unit

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IAugust 30, 2008

Now that I have talked about Mike Van Ryn going to the Maple Leafs, it is time to talk about who he was traded for, Bryan McCabe, and how he is going to be a top-two D-man on the Panthers...wait, what?

Yes, Bryan McCabe will help the Panthers somewhat, but he will not be a top-two defenceman. The Panthers have really straightened out their defense this offseason, also acquiring Kieth Ballard and Nick Boynton and getting Jay Bouwmeester signed to a one-year deal (though he might be traded). Look for McCabe to instead fit in as a top-four or -five blueliner.

He was 10th on the Leafs in points (23) with five goals and 18 assists last season, playing in just 54 games. The veteran blue-chipper struggled, and it didn't help his season when he attempted to clear the crease of the puck but ended up putting it in his own net during a game.

McCabe agreed to waive his no-trade clause in the offseason, realizing that he needed to get out of Toronto so he could try and get his career back on track. This year I'm looking for McCabe to play 75-to-82 games, posting at least seven goals and 25 points. McCabe should slowly get back to his 15-to-18-goal seasons, but don't expect that for about three more years.

Maybe McCabe will be able to help the Panthers to a playoff appearance.