Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/23/13 at 10:23 AM ET
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
It is usually not the splashy trade or big free-agent signing that gives an NHL team a much-needed change in personality. More often, it is the kind of moves former Leafs general manager Brian Burke and his successor, David Nonis, made with these four players, starting almost a year ago.
Defenceman Mark Fraser was the first to come, in a trade with the Ducks, Burke’s former and now current employer, for prospect-turned-suspect Dale Mitchell. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound, Fraser was dispatched to the Leafs’ Toronto Marlies farm team where he laboured until the Leafs’ lockout-delayed training camp last month.
Next up was Jay McClement, a big centre who put in seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche without threatening to make an all-star team. Burke signed him as a free agent while the Toronto media, yours truly included, yawned.
The next move was a retread, as enforcer Colton Orr, who was sent down to the Marlies a year ago by Burke, who generated headlines by loudly bemoaning the move as a sign the fighter was obsolete in the NHL. Well, not quite as it turns out, since Orr is back holding down a spot on the right wing on the fourth line, although he’s out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury. He is the only one who will not play Saturday night in Ottawa against the Senators.
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