A look at the deal that has Anton Stralman packing his bags and stampedin' to Calgary.
The trade is as follows:
To Toronto: F Wayne Primeau, 2011 2nd Round pick
To Calgary: D Anton Stralman, F Colin Stuart, 7th Round pick in 2012.
Drafted in the 7th round in 2005, many Leaf fans will be disappointed to see Stralman go as there was much anticipation on what kind of defenseman he could develop into. Do not be surprised if in a couple years he is a top powerplay defenseman with his smooth skating, passing and a significant shot from the point. I believe this trade breaks down to a salary dump on Calgary’s part; with Primeau taking his 1.4mil cap hit and one remaining year to Toronto, Calgary will hope that Stralman can develop into a powerplay defenseman and Stuart can replace Primeau’s depth either in the NHL or AHL next season. Brian Burke has shown over the years that he has no intention of burying players and one would have to assume that Stralman did not figure into the Leafs plans and would have been riding the bus in the AHL had he remained on this roster. You may recall Burke allowing players such as Bryzgalov, Bell and Kronwall to go for nothing and be given a fair look on other clubs. Toronto has also received a second round pick in 2011 in the deal which is another asset to be used towards the rebuild.
Brian Burke has officially made Anton Stralman the second defenseman to be shipped out of town following Pabel Kubina. True to his word, Burke made it clear in his last Air Canada press conference that defensemen would be moved to get the number down to 8 going into training camp. This backlog features the likes of: Kaberle, Komisarek, Frogren, Beauchemin, Schenn, Finger, White, Van Ryn, Exelby and Oreskovic; all of which have experience at the NHL level. With 10 defensemen listed, there may be another move to follow shortly.
From this trade we can take a few things. First of all, the loss of Stralman probably means that Kaberle will be the Leafs featured puck mover this year; Ian White is not a top pairing defensemen and Van Ryn will need to prove that he can shake off his injuries woes before he can be penciled in as a top 4 in this year’s lineup. If one more defenseman is to be moved, there are many scenarios of who it could be and I will not speculate at this point. Also, Brian Burke appears unafraid to make moves some would view as sideways when changing the look of this team.
When I heard of this trade I felt slightly confused. I understand that d-men need to be moved before the start of the season; however, I always assumed Stralman could eventually replace Kaberle as the smooth puck-moving defenseman in a few years. I really believe this guy has all the tools to be a solid NHLer if he can become more consistent; at 22 years old, he is hardly considered to be a seasoned veteran and should come into his own shortly.
For any Wayne Primeau fans out there; forgive my ignorance but I do not believe he is an impact type of guy and I assume that Toronto had to take him in order to get the 2nd round pick in this deal. The guy has battled injuries for much of his career and fits the description of a trade throw in. I hope this trade works out for both teams and I am still anticipating Toronto’s next move.
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Written by Mike Crupi