Brian Rolston Placed on Waivers: Should the Maple Leafs Claim Him?

Jeff LangridgeCorrespondent IIIDecember 14, 2010

Is Brian Rolston a fit for the Leafs?
Is Brian Rolston a fit for the Leafs?Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

This morning, Brian Rolston of the New Jersey Devils was placed on re-entry waivers. For the next 24 hours, any team in the NHL can claim him and pay him only half his salary.

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs be that team?

Once the Devils signed Ilya Kovalchuk to that monster contract, Rolston and his $5,062,500 salary became a problem for the Devils.

In the offseason, he was rumored to be one of the players that could be on the move, but his no-trade clause was in the way, so nothing happened.

Now his no-trade clause is a moot point. I think the Leafs, or more specifically, Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, might be interested in bringing Rolston's leadership to the Leafs, and now it would come at a cheaper cost.

The Leafs do have the cap room for Rolston's reduced contract, which would be around $2.5 million. That is also not including the possible trades of Tomas Kaberle, Francois Beauchemin or Mike Komisarek.

Acquiring Rolston could allow Burke to trade any of these players and maybe squeeze a first-round pick to ease the pain of the second first-round pick we're losing to the Boston Bruins.

Pros to signing Rolston would be that he could mentor our younger players like Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak, Kris Versteeg and Nazem Kadri. He can play all forward positions but is more known for being on the left wing. He could possibly help Kessel get of this rut he's in, too.

Having only this year and next year left on Rolston's contract could be seen as a plus, although some people will say that having him around next year would be a con to bringing him in.

I'm not sure if the Leafs should acquire Brian Rolston. There are some definitely some good reasons to bring him in, but his age might scare Brian Burke off. The way I look at it, Rolston is a player that we could bring in to help our team with no cost but the money.

There might be a few risks involved, but if Burke wants the Leafs to make a push for the playoffs this year, it might be a risk he has to take.