Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Trade Analysis: Bryan McCabe

by Jes

The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their detox cleansing by dumping frumpy Bryan McCabe and his bad hairstyle on the Florida Panthers in exchange for Mike Van Ryn and a draft pick.

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of McCabe's game. Yes, he puts up a pile of points, and is great on the Power Play, but his defence is atrocious, and he, far too often, goes out of position to make a big hit. Ever since his famed "can opener" was cracked down upon, McCabe's idea of defence is to put his blob-like body in front of a defender and hope that he hits something ... the puck, the ref, the opposing forward ... not pretty. McCabe is basically Sheldon Souray without the model good looks.

This deal was more about dumping salary than anything else, so it's hard to expect the Leafs to come out ahead on the deal ... but how will they fare?

Mike Van Ryn certainly has some skills of his own, and he did put up two straight 37-point seasons. That said, he put up just 2 points in 20 games last season and 29 in 78 games the season before. Ever since Jay Bouwmeester was given the lion's share of ice time in Florida, Van Ryn's game wilted, and his point production wasn't all that great.

McCabe, on the other hand, put up three straight 50+ point seasons until last season, when he fell to just 23 in 54 games. With a healthy McCabe, you can expect about 15 goals and another 35-45 assists.

So, the difference on offence is going to probably be about 15-20 points, which can be a big deal over a long season. In today's offence starved NHL, an offensive powerhouse like McCabe does provide some value.

So, how does Van Ryn compare defensively to McCabe?

Looking at some advanced numbers over at Behind the Net, it ain't pretty.

RATING - Behindthenet Rating (+/- relative to team): -52 for McCabe and -51 for Van Ryn.
QUALITY OF COMPETITION: Van Ryn comes out ahead with .09 compared to McCabe's .02.

The other defensive stats are rather similar, so we could say that Van Ryn comes out slightly ahead, or just call it a wash and leave it at that.

Now, I understand the Panthers want to make the leap into the playoffs eventually, but why McCabe? The Panthers' biggest problem has been preventing goals, and McCabe is NOT going to help that. The last thing the Panthers need is a defensive liability on the ice for 25 minutes a game, and an expensive one at that.

Thumbs down to the Panthers, and thumbs up to the Leafs for clearing out salary. Van Ryn is no star, but he's not chopped liver, either. He will give the Leafs a competent defenseman to plug a hole while plumber Fletcher orders a new part.

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Van Ryn's main problem is that he's hurt all the time. It's hard to get a handle on what kind of player a guy is when he's missing huge chunks of time and playing hurt whenever he is in the line-up.
Where are you getting confirmation that the deal is done?

TSN.ca's preview of the upcoming possible trade says it's McCabe and a draft pick to Florida in exchange for Van Ryn.
1) If thats the deal then Martin should be fired! To take on that contract and the questionable defensive ability of Mccabe Toronto should be sending a 1st rounder, a HUGE thank you note and getting back a bag of pucks!
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