Everybody is aware that the Toronto Maple Leafs would have traded Bryan McCabe for a bag of pucks. Instead, they got Mike Van Ryn.
Nothing against Mike Van Ryn—but there is just no room for him on the Leafs squad.
The defense will include Thomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Jonas Frogren, Jeff Finger, Anton Stralman, and either Carlo Colaiacovo or first-round pick Luke Schenn. Van Ryn will get the short end of the stick, and may have a very short career in Toronto.
Also, Ian White—who isn't a favourite of GM Cliff Fletcher—may be done as a Leaf as well. So what could the Leafs get in return for these two defenseman?
As always, Philadelphia may be in the market for a defenseman. A trade including White or Van Ryn to the Flyers could see the Leafs pick up young forward Scottie Upshall—who isn't a key to the Flyers success but could develop into a top-nine forward for Toronto.
The Leafs could even acquire Flyer prospect Patrick Maroon if they added a roster player like Alex Ponikarovsky. An ideal trade to Philadelphia would be Alex Ponikarovsky and Ian White or Mike Van Ryn for Scottie Upshall and Patrick Maroon.
Another team in the market for defenseman is the Oilers, who may just have the worst defense in the league. Sourey, Visnovsky and Staios are Edmonton's only good defenseman—save maybe Ladisvlov Smid, if he manages to improve. Ian White, Mike Van Ryn, or both would be a big help to this team and round out their defense.
So what could the Leafs get in return? For one of the two defensemen,a prospect or a third- to fourth-round draft pick may be a good trade for the rebuilding Leafs.
I think the best deal for Toronto would come if they put both White and Van Ryn on the table. I could see Edmonton shoveling over Rob Schremp or a good prospect like Riley Nash, and a second- or third-round draft pick.
The ideal trade would be Rob Schremp or Riley Nash and a second-round draft pick for Ian White and Mike Van Ryn.
So as we approach training camp, rumours still swirl around the Leafs' roster.
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