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Player Profile: Bryan McCabe

Posted By Adam Gavriel On Mar 1 2011 @ 11:00 am In New York Rangers | No Comments

Chalk me up to shiny new toy syndrome. I waited until after it was apparent that the Rangers would not be adding any big names at the deadline (sorry if you’re reading this John Mitchell) to start typing up my piece on McCabe; because if Richards was added you know this week would be all about Brad.

McCabe was brought to the Rangers a couple of days before the trading deadline for Tim Kennedy who after not making the starting roster out of training camp and being exiled to the NHL had no future here and a 3rd round pick in what is not a very deep draft at all this summer. A good move I think by Sather although it was debated heavily here on PSB. In my opinion the wily veteran can add more to the Rangers through the rest of the season than he could take away.

I’m happy he’s here


Height: 6’2″

Weight: 223 lbs

Age: 35

Drafted: 2nd round (40th overall) in 1993 by the New York Islanders

NHL Experience: Currently in his 15th NHL season

Contract: $5.75 million UFA at year’s end

Before the NHL:

Before being drafted by the Islanders and turning pro, like most all other Canadian born youngsters McCabe decided to take his talents to the CHL, more specifically the WHL, to hone his craft and get on the scouting radar.

McCabe would play four seasons in the WHL while traveling between three different teams in the process. He began his WHL career with the Medicine Hat Tigers, moved on to the Spokane Chiefs after a year and a half with the Tigers. McCabe would spend the better of two years in the WHL with the Chiefs before being moved to the Brandon Wheat Kings where he would finish his WHL career.

McCabes WHL numbers were promising for a young dman. His best season, which is actually an incredible one came in 93/94 the year after he was drafted where McCabe recorded 84 points in 64 games to go alone with 218 penalty minutes. Those are sick numbers.

Some other notable players from the 2nd round of the 1993 NHL entry draft. In the second round the Rangers selected Lee Sorochan 5 picks before McCabe was selected by the Islanders. Sorochan played in 3 career NHL games for the Calgary Flames and did not register a point. Some other names, Jay Pandolfo, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Kevin Weekes.


McCabe has represented team Canada on 6 different occasions throughout his career. This includes 2 trips to the World Junior Championships, three World Championship appearances and one Olympics appearance.

In the 6 games that McCabe appeared in with Canada during the Olympics in 05-06, he did not record a point.

McCabe’s best International performance came in 1994-1995 where in 7 games with the World Juniors team McCabe recorded 12 points (3 goals).

NHL Success:

This is an interesting one for me, as due to the fact that the Rangers have such a young squad it is odd that the NHL successes category of these player profiles be a big piece of the puzzle here. But with McCabe’s long career, and his not so long career coming up with the Rangers, you’ll find the bulk of the story here.

When McCabe broke into the league he was more of a banging defenseman than an offensive guy. Racking up penalty minutes like it was his job, McCabe’s welcome with the Islanders quickly went array. Playing only two and half years on the Island getting his feet wet in the NHL, McCabe was dealt to the Canucks mid-season.

McCabe would again be unimpressive with the Canucks and was let go after just the half a season and then a year after he experienced with Vancouver.

McCabe would spend another unimpressive year with the Blackhawks after being let go by the Canucks.

It was finally bound to happen somewhere, but McCabe was really able to settle down in Toronto starting in the 2000-2001 season and establish himself as a legit offensive dman threat. McCabe would spend 7 seasons with the Maple Leafs eventually earning Alternate captain honors. He had two 50+ point seasons not including the year he recorded 68 points with the Leafs.

McCabe’s 7 years with the leafs included 4 playoff runs. McCabe hasn’t been to the playoffs since the lockout.

After his tenure with the Leafs was ended McCabe took his talents to south Florida (just like LeBron) and has experienced moderate success. However due to the fact that McCabe and the Panthers couldn’t seem to get themselves into the playoffs, McCabe was moved again for the fifth time in his long NHL career.

McCabe’s NHL numbers to this date 1117 games played, 143 goals and 379 assists.

Outlook 2011 and Beyond:

Notice the lack of 2010 in the title.

McCabe’s purpose to the Rangers is one thing and one thing only. Be a veteran presence on the blue line, help the power play to ultimately achieve the goal of getting the Rangers back into the playoffs.

In one game so far with the Rangers we’ve been treated to what we should be expecting from McCabe throughout the rest of the season, a trigger happy point man who is reliable in his own end and not afraid to get dirty.

Hopefully with more practices and getting more time to learn the system McCabe’s production will go up, especially on the power play where the Rangers need the most help of all.

I believe that since the Rangers didn’t want to trade what was necessary to get a guy like Kaberle in here, and didn’t want to spend the extra salary to bring in a guy like John Michael Liles (apparently nobody wanted to do that) that became was ultimately the right move. His contract expires after this year and he knows what he was brought in here to do. In all of his interviews McCabe knew that he had to take it one day at a time with the Rangers organization, not expecting anything past this season. Not only that, but most important of all he seemed excited to finally get back into the playoff push and hopefully back into the playoffs.

Bringing in McCabe at the right price was a great play by Sather and I’m optimistic that it is going to pay off.


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