Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Leafs Trade Stralman

To Calgary: Colin Stuart, Anton Stralman, 2012 7th round pick
To Toronto: Wayne Primeau, 2011 2nd round pick.

What this deal is all about

Acquiring yet another less-talented sibling.

I predict Nicolas Cage will star in a movie as a Leafs' GM who finds a secret book. The book dictates that the Leaf franchise cannot go more than five years without having a lesser-talented sibling of another NHLer on their roster.

By solving a series of complex, historically-based riddles the film will reveal why the Leafs had to trade for the likes of Wayne Primeau, Marian Statsny, Jim Benning, Aaron Broten, Miroslav Ihnacak, Bill Kitchen, Dan Maloney, Rich Sutter, Mike Stevens (brother of Scott Stevens!) and Gary Yaremchuk and how doom awaits the Leafs' GM who does not fulfill this prophecy.

The Actual Obligatory Post-Trade Analysis

As just about every storyline has it, there was little to no room for Stralman on the Leafs blueline. The young Swede was 9th or 10th on the depth chart, is a pending RFA and, as he's no longer waiver exempt. The Leafs were either going to move Stralman now or lose him on the waiver wire in September/October.

A second round pick for a future waiver wire loss isn't that bad.

In an email that was going around last night, I compared the Stralman for Primeau trade to the Leafs dealing Chris McCallister for Darby Hendrickson: a once promising D-man for a marginal forward.

The more I think about it, the less I like that analogy. For one, the Leafs dealt away the marginal forward for a promising D-man (D'oh! I had the trade backwards), but more importantly Hendrickson had some real potential (Named Minneosta's Mr. Hockey in 1991). He would go on to play five more seasons in the NHL, something not even a kool-aid drinking Leaf fan would think the 33 year old, broken-down Wayne Primeau is capable of.

The more I think about the Stralman trade, the more I think the Leafs' acquisition of Rich Sutter might be a better analogy.

At the time of the deal, Sutter was heralded as a gritty, good-in-the-room, off-ice-leadership, 3rd or 4th line kind of guy. Like Primeau, Sutter was the less talented brother of another NHLer and just like Primeau, Sutter's best years were behind him. In the end, Sutter played all of 18 games for the Leafs, generating 3 assists, going minus 7 and then calling it a career.

Like Sutter, I doubt Primeau lasts the year with the Leafs. His contract expires after this season and I wouldn't be surprised if he spends more time on the IR than he does in uniform.


  1. I have him pencilled in as "beer vendor: section 504". If he manages more than that, it's a plus.

  2. Paul Steckley12:02 pm

    Stralman was never going to crack the top 6 of the Leafs D and problaby would have been picked up on the waiver wire for nothing by some other team. It was a good move by Burke to realize that and to ensure he received something for him.

    Primeau and Stuart are basically nothing for nothing, so I see this as basically Stralman for a 2nd round pick. Considering Stralman hasn't shown an ability to play in the NHL, although he's had an opportunity, I think that's a good deal for the Leafs, more so when one considers that we could have lost him for nothing in September.

  3. "something not even a kool-aid drinking Leaf fan"

    Howie? Is that you?

  4. About the kool-aid drinking Leaf fan, thanks for the shoutout, MF!!1

  5. LeafFanInVan1:24 pm

    When I saw the less-talented-sibling idea I first thought "wait, is this some grand plan to get Brayden Schenn now?"

    Also pass the kool-aid, I'm dyin out here and need refreshment.

  6. less-talented sibling? Frank Kaberle's available!

  7. Maybe Wayne has been injureds, but Burke did say he was looking for role players such as penalty killers. AT least we haven't signed Bertuzzi

  8. Anonymous1:05 am

    Primeau was acquired to keep Mike Van Ryn company. Sure, the Leafs will require a second ambulance on stand-by but the upside is that the paramedic's salaries don't count against the cap. Remember, Burke is the man with the plan.

  9. Anonymous10:38 am

    Good deal. Stuart for Primeau is a wash. Stralman for a 2nd rounder is the deal...and considering how valuable draft picks are becoming in light of the cap and the economy...this is a very good deal.