Leafs Trade Joe Colborne to Flames

Justin Fisher
September 28 2013 11:05PM

Joe Colborne is going home. 

The six-foot-five Calgary, Alberta native has been traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Calgary Flames for a 4th round pick in 2014. A former 1st rounder, Colborne couldn't quite nail down a roster spot during the Leafs' preseason.

At first glance, it's a head scratcher. Colborne was one of the key pieces in the Toronto-Boston trade that sent Tomas Kaberle to the Bruins, and put up some solid numbers in the AHL, while looking a little out of place in the NHL. Regardless, to give up on a young center with size and offensive upside, on a $600K, one year contract no less, is nothing short of confusing.

In 211 AHL games split between Providence and Toronto, Colborne scored 50 goals and 125 points. In 16 NHL games, only one goal and five assists. Still, Colborne ranked #2 on The Leafs Nation's Top Twenty Leafs Prospects feature that ran earlier this month.

No matter which way you look at it, this is a big win for Calgary. It's entirely possible Colborne could top out as a middling professional hockey player, but the likelihood of him being worse than who would have been Calgary's 4th round pick in 2014 is slim.

The Leafs get a mid-round pick and a little bit of cap relief.

The Flames move futures for a still young, NHL-ready player. Welcome to Brian Burke's accelerated rebuild, Calgary.

UPDATE:

The pick is a conditional 4th rounder... 

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Justin Fisher is a Toronto-based writer of sorts. He likes hockey and comic books and sriracha sauce. He doesn't like Don Cherry. Follow him on Twitter: @thejustinfisher
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#1 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 29 2013, 08:46AM
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He might have been had for free. He was probably going to be put on waivers. A 4th sounds like its a bit expensive for someone who is already on his third team. This was a great trade for Toronto. I hope he pans out for you guys. Im hoping we get some similar but less expensive news ourselves.

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#2 seve927
September 28 2013, 10:42PM
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Well, I guess I can't say it's bad. But I'm not in the least excited about it. As far as I'm concerned we've got a glut of guys like this.

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#3 Kmp
September 29 2013, 08:32AM
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Can't see the logic here, is he better than Horak, Knight or Reinhart. No and he has to clear waivers, waste of a 4th rounder IMO.

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#4 Cam Charron
September 28 2013, 10:52PM
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This only took so long because the two general managers were haggling over who would pick up the tab for the two dozen jelly donuts they got at Tim Hortons.

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#5 clyde
September 29 2013, 09:56AM
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I hope these aren't the type of moves Feaster was talking about when he said the Flames were in great position to take advantage of this day.

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#6 seve927
September 29 2013, 09:40AM
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RexLibris wrote:

The Oilers are already without a 2nd this year because of the Perron deal and Tambellini dealt their 4th to Toronto last year for Mike Brown.

Running out of options there, and while they could have offered something like a 2014 3rd with a conditional 2nd in 2015, it doesn't have as much appeal as a Flames pick in the more immediate future.

Also, Burke and Nonis. If the Leafs have any castoffs the Flames could find themselves the comfortable beneficiaries from a "rich uncle".

Great trade for the Flames. It covers either a hole made by Corban Knight going down to the AHL, or if Colborne excels, perhaps pushes Monahan back to the OHL for a year.

Yeah, exactly. My comment wasn't so much about the Oilers, as why no demand for Colborne. For the same price as a Mike Brown, we got Joe Colborne? What does that say about him? According to Pronman he's big but not physical, not very good defensively and inconsistent. He's 23. Honestly, how many guys like that have ever made the NHL? Any? I'm not trying to trash him, but I seriously don't understand the excitement.

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#7 STAN
September 28 2013, 11:20PM
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Wow. This deal must have been in the works for a while. If Colborne had potted a couple of goals tonight, it might have been a conditional third rounder (bumped up to second with 10 goals and 35 points.) But I think he had three assists.

If the Flames give him a spot and 15-16 minutes a night, I can't see why he won't score 15 goals and get 40 points.

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#8 Baalzamon
September 28 2013, 11:46PM
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This just in.. the pick becomes a third rounder if the moon falls out of the sky, transforms into a meatball, and lands on Jay Feaster's plate.

Oh, and Colborne turns into Nazem Kadri if the Leafs win the cup.

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#9 beloch
September 29 2013, 12:55AM
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I bet MacT up in Shelbyville is a little steamed right now. With Gagner and Nuge out for who knows how long, he's got two >25 AHL'ers playing in the NHL, and one of those is barely good enough for the AHL! Picking up a NHL ready center with size and upsize for 600K would have been a very smart move for the Oilers. Too slow, too bad, so sad!

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#10 jeremywilhelm
September 29 2013, 03:16AM
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Colboner engaged. I'm now a full time Colbrony.

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#11 Kent Wilson
September 28 2013, 11:09PM
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This is an outstanding trade for the Flames. Im not sure what kind of ceiling Colborne has, but for a 4th (or even a third) rounder, it's a clear win. If he becomes any sort of NHLer, Calgary is ahead. If he's anything above a 4th liner, bonus.

I will have a an in-depth follow-up for FN tomorrow.

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#12 schevvy
September 28 2013, 11:22PM
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Good trade. But I think we all know who's calling the shots in the office now

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#13 Jeff Lebowski
September 28 2013, 11:26PM
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I like this trade. I like it even more because the coilers should have been after him if he was available. Especially at that price. Steal x 2!

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#14 seve927
September 28 2013, 11:30PM
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I can't believe Edmonton wouldn't have given up more than a 4th for him. They're desperate for a big center.

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#15 Colin.S
September 29 2013, 12:31AM
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I don't know how you can't like the trade, a pick that in all likelihood was never going to be a big time pick anyways for a big center that was a former first round pick that has a decent NHLE using his AHL numbers.

I don't get why Toronto has gone so mild on him, doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think Toronto had better ways to get cap compliant, but whatever, take em where you can get em.

Another bonus to this deal is that maybe the team can sneak Monahan back to the minors without a whole lot of fuss if Colborne can make a decent enough impact with the Flames. Having a big, young center like Colborne might give the team options and let Monahan go develop in the minors if he is not 100% NHL ready yet.

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#16 exsanguinator
September 29 2013, 08:50AM
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"As an organization we have had many discussions this past year about Joe, but never made an offer," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said in a statement. "With the opportunity to speak with Brian Burke and learn about Joe's hockey sense and character from someone who had him as a player and knows him so well, it became clear to us that this is the type of young, big center we need. He fits in very well with our rebuild and provides size up the middle which we believe is critical going forward. The fact that he is from Calgary is an added bonus. We look forward to welcoming him to the Flames family."

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#17 exsanguinator
September 28 2013, 10:47PM
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Wait a minute, Calgary didn't get absolutely fleeced on a trade with Toronto? Chalk this one up as a win.

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#18 Stockley
September 28 2013, 10:48PM
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@seve927

This fits two bits of criteria. First, it's another mid-round pick to bring in a native Alberta boy. Second, it's acquiring someone Burke is familiar with, the sort of move I imagine we'll see a lot of. Give me this trade any day over someone like Liles. At least Colborne is affordable and not signed to a horrendous contract.

I'm lukewarm on the deal. Low risk, high reward though. Replacing a 4th round draft pick won't be difficult. Lots of replaceable parts will be moved out of Calgary in the next couple seasons, veterans looking for new homes or more competitive teams to call their own.

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#19 First Name Unidentified
September 28 2013, 10:50PM
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I like this trade. Colborne may just need the change in scenery that Calgary provides, being local, etc. Even if he tops out as a 3C, it's well worth a shot.

This looks like a Burke type of move. Good luck in Cowtown Joe, I'll be cheering you on!

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#20 Skuehler
September 28 2013, 11:05PM
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It looks like a win for sure - waiting for the catch. I've seen Colborne play in Jr and he was really good. Thinking he may be a better option than Knight in the near future.

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#21 Sobueno
September 29 2013, 12:31AM
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Wow, not much to complain about on this one. I guess it makes sense they were trying to get kind of return if TO was going to lose him for nothing via waivers, otherwise this trade makes little sense from Toronto's view. 600k of cap relief doesn't seem like a whole lot to be essentially giving away a 23 year old prospect.

I know many were hoping our trade outcomes would be improved with Burke around. Well IMO this makes him 1 for 1!

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#22 jeremywilhelm
September 29 2013, 12:35AM
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Niiiiiice.

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#23 TRAV
September 29 2013, 01:04AM
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Ill be curious to see how Lambert slams Feaster on this one...

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#24 bezer
September 29 2013, 01:06AM
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Eff ya.. love the pick up for a mid pick, and we didn't get Liles in the process.

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#25 jeremywilhelm
September 29 2013, 08:45AM
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@Kmp

Er, hes far better than 2 of 3. Horak is probably a better player than he is.

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#26 MonsterPod
September 29 2013, 09:09AM
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Love this. Elliot Friedman was speculating we may get Colborne if we swallowed Liles first. To get him for a 4th is stellar. Way to go Burkie! I mean, "Feaster".

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#27 RexLibris
September 29 2013, 09:18AM
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seve927 wrote:

I can't believe Edmonton wouldn't have given up more than a 4th for him. They're desperate for a big center.

The Oilers are already without a 2nd this year because of the Perron deal and Tambellini dealt their 4th to Toronto last year for Mike Brown.

Running out of options there, and while they could have offered something like a 2014 3rd with a conditional 2nd in 2015, it doesn't have as much appeal as a Flames pick in the more immediate future.

Also, Burke and Nonis. If the Leafs have any castoffs the Flames could find themselves the comfortable beneficiaries from a "rich uncle".

Great trade for the Flames. It covers either a hole made by Corban Knight going down to the AHL, or if Colborne excels, perhaps pushes Monahan back to the OHL for a year.

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#28 Mironovs Nose
September 29 2013, 10:09AM
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@seve927

As a Leaf fan I didn't have high expectations from Colborne, but based on his play in the AHL, and the fact that he was hampered by injuries last year, there's still a chance he becomes a pretty good player.

Basically, Leaf fans are pissed about losing a prospect with some potential for basically nothing. Flames fans should be happy they're getting a free lotto ticket.

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#29 Steve
September 29 2013, 10:53AM
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Is this finally a reward for us sticking them with an overpaid, poor defensive 6.5 million dollar d'man? Where starting to see some return. Can't wait to see matty go for a combo of picks at the deadline.

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#30 Alkali
September 28 2013, 11:03PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

Apparently the 4th round pick isn't set in stone. Looks like it'll be a 3rd rounder if certain conditions are met.

It becomes a 3rd if he gets 10 G or 35 P this season AND Flames make playoffs.

I highly doubt it will be a third round pick going to the Leafs

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#31 Primo
September 28 2013, 11:10PM
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Anyone know his stats on face offs??

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#32 ChinookArch
September 28 2013, 11:22PM
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RKD wrote:

It's clear who orchestrated this trade, this is the second time Burke has traded for Colborne. If he's given some ice time, at least he has a chance to develop and progress his game some more.

According to Sports Center it was Burke. The last time a Flames GM fleeced his old team, it was for Mikka Kipprusoff. Adding a NHL calibre center to this team is a big win, no matter where Colborne's ceiling is.

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#33 Robert Cleave
September 28 2013, 11:26PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

This is an outstanding trade for the Flames. Im not sure what kind of ceiling Colborne has, but for a 4th (or even a third) rounder, it's a clear win. If he becomes any sort of NHLer, Calgary is ahead. If he's anything above a 4th liner, bonus.

I will have a an in-depth follow-up for FN tomorrow.

Given the parameters for making the pick a third, I suspect there's no chance it becomes that. In the unlikely event that it does, it'll move from a good trade to an outright fleecing.

There's still really no downside to this. A 4th rounder turns into someone that plays 100 NHL games something like 15% of the time, so the risk of having sacrificed something of value is pretty low.

I'd also suspect when the Flames sell off Cammy and maybe Stajan this spring, they'll get back a bit more than a 4th, so I can't envision a scenario where the club is short of decent draft picks. Even if Colborne is just another 4th liner in the end, the risk/reward balance is OK on this deal.

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#34 TRAV
September 29 2013, 12:47AM
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Nothing not to like here. If this trade was suggested as a possibility I would have said, "Keep dreaming." Colborne for a fourth is a no lose, with potential to be a big win! Nice!

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#35 vowswithin
September 29 2013, 01:04AM
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Knight was pushing to leave the Panthers because of too much depth in their org, well I imagine that he can't be too happy about this move...

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#36 everton fc
September 29 2013, 01:07AM
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Colborne and Knight had very similar numbers in the NCAA. I've not been as high on Knight as many here. I see no real difference between Knight and Colborne. Generally speaking.

Yet.

I wonder what this means for Bouma and Horak. If Bouma can play from the right side, that might be an interesting, potentially productive 4th line.

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#37 Deaner_
September 29 2013, 01:14AM
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Also, what does this mean for the Horak's and Rienhart's of the world, let alone Knight. How does Bill Arnold see things shaping up coming out of College this season?

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#38 aloudoun
September 29 2013, 01:22AM
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Nothing wrong with this trade.

And for those saying that it creates problems for the other centres in our system. Tough beans. I would way rather have a glut of centres all vying for a spot than having to use a centre that isn't ready because we have no one else. If you want to play in the NHL and on the Flames then you have to earn it. It isnt given out. Centre depth is something Calgary has been lacking for a long time.

For the first time in a long time I am cautiously optimistic that the Flames are building a team right. *knock on wood.

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#39 aloudoun
September 29 2013, 01:24AM
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And Colborne had 2 assists and was 73% in face-offs tonight. (yes yes I know its preseason... whatever)

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#40 MaxPower417
September 29 2013, 07:03AM
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Being a Leaf fan is the worst.

I feel mentally handicapped by association.

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#41 Jeremy Ian
September 29 2013, 07:18AM
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Good trade for all sides, but better for Calgary. Colborne was not breaking into the Leaf ranks this year, so he needs a restart. Calgary gets his potential; but that potential now has a shorter and shorter fuse. Leafs have to figure out what to do with the 4th line.

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#42 Jeff In Lethbridge
September 29 2013, 08:46AM
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the Flames though are in the same boat as the Leafs... leave him on the team or risk him on the waivers... technically this is a good deal for the Flames... but at his age I would have liked to see more promise from him... I don't have high hope personally

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#43 FireOnIce
September 28 2013, 10:56PM
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Apparently the 4th round pick isn't set in stone. Looks like it'll be a 3rd rounder if certain conditions are met.

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#44 RKD
September 28 2013, 11:13PM
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It's clear who orchestrated this trade, this is the second time Burke has traded for Colborne. If he's given some ice time, at least he has a chance to develop and progress his game some more.

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#45 Sincity1976
September 28 2013, 11:14PM
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This really came down to the waiver eligibility I think. Colborne only has 16 NHL games and he was guaranteed to be picked up on waivers.

Toronto, or whatever team they traded him to, would have needed to keep him on the active NHL roster to keep him. Given how rough he is right now I don't think there were many teams that were able to do that.

The Flames have bad enough C depth and are rebuilding so they are one of the few that can carry him on the roster.

I think it drove the interest down to a point where the Flames got a player for less then value. Knight and Colborne were both players that the Flames were in a good position to get on the cheap. Good to the Flames on getting both.

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#46 Sincity1976
September 28 2013, 11:39PM
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@seve927

I think they might have eyes on Luke Adam.

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#47 Chris
September 29 2013, 12:08AM
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Great trade. It might not pan out, but it's the kind of trade that good GMs make. Pick up five young "bubble" players with good upside, and odds are you'll get one top 6 forward or top 4 defencemen out of the lot.

Colborne may not turn into Kadri, but as long as he doesn't turn into one of those jelly donuts like Tkachuk did, I'm fine with it. :)

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#48 Danny Lawson
September 29 2013, 01:03AM
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Mason Raymond beat out Colborne for a position in Toronto ....? Really .....?

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#49 HongKongHockeyFan
September 29 2013, 01:07AM
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This is the new reality in the lower Salary Cap world. I won't lose sleep even if we give up a 3rd rounder.

I am just glad we didn't take Lile's salary to boot.

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#50 Deaner_
September 29 2013, 01:10AM
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I wonder if Burkie and Joe's agent are buds, perhaps he could have suggested if Colborne had a sub par preseason that he could make it worth his while in cowtown....Regardless it's a clear win for the Flames.

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