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... 

C0293e2b4678f1e929600607efbd5b6b
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
Avatar
#51 Deaner_
September 29 2013, 01:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@aloudoun

Agreed, I'm thinking more about a situation like Arnold's, where he could walk and leave us with nothing, does this make a guy like that a tradable asset with so many 3-4 line potential centres.

Avatar
#52 KetchupKid
September 29 2013, 05:01AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Go Brian!

Avatar
#53 BJ
September 29 2013, 06:19AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
Jeff Lebowski wrote:

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!

Yeah, totally.. I would think they are in a position to outbid Calgary as well... no?

Avatar
#54 BJ
September 29 2013, 06:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props
aloudoun wrote:

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.

And we saw in preseason how Hartley seems to have no problem playing Reinhart Knight etc.. on the wing.... no I do not think too much Center depth is a concern for us at all? lol

Avatar
#55 beloch
September 29 2013, 06:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

After reading a little more, specifically [1], it sounds like Colborne might bit a bit of a project player. He's received some injuries and might be afraid to get into the dirty areas now. Obviously, it didn't look like he was going to make the Leafs out of camp, which is why it was trade him or watch him go for nothing on waivers. Speaking of which, my understanding is that the Flames are now in the same position as the Leafs were. Whether he's ready or not, Colborne is on the team. There's no way to send him to Abby if he sucks balls.

At least one fan over in Leafdom speculates that Colborne could make a good winger if converted. If he stinks up center-ice on the fourth line that might be the next thing to try. Unfortunately, he shoots left and it's the right flank that's a barren wasteland at the moment.

The Flames really should look at converting a center or two to right wing. Monahan and Reinhart also shoot left, but Corban Knight shoots right, so he might be worth trying out as a RW if Colborne just bumped him out of 4C.

[1] http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/09/29/joe-colborne-traded-to-calgary-flames-for-4th-round-pick/

Avatar
#56 whichonespink
September 29 2013, 07:57AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props
beloch wrote:

After reading a little more, specifically [1], it sounds like Colborne might bit a bit of a project player. He's received some injuries and might be afraid to get into the dirty areas now. Obviously, it didn't look like he was going to make the Leafs out of camp, which is why it was trade him or watch him go for nothing on waivers. Speaking of which, my understanding is that the Flames are now in the same position as the Leafs were. Whether he's ready or not, Colborne is on the team. There's no way to send him to Abby if he sucks balls.

At least one fan over in Leafdom speculates that Colborne could make a good winger if converted. If he stinks up center-ice on the fourth line that might be the next thing to try. Unfortunately, he shoots left and it's the right flank that's a barren wasteland at the moment.

The Flames really should look at converting a center or two to right wing. Monahan and Reinhart also shoot left, but Corban Knight shoots right, so he might be worth trying out as a RW if Colborne just bumped him out of 4C.

[1] http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/09/29/joe-colborne-traded-to-calgary-flames-for-4th-round-pick/

I am from Leafdom and I agree, Joe might benefit from time on the wing. For 2 games in the playoffs last yr, he looked good. He took the body and was rarely out of position. There is less ground to cover at the wing so starting him off there wouldn't be a bad idea. Just giving him 40 games or so at the NHL level to let him play and make mistakes, and grow. He could be a hellofa player for you Calgary, Im all for helping you out with the flood, but this is taking it too far.

Avatar
#57 coachedpotatoe
September 29 2013, 08:19AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

For a team void of big centers this looks like a good move. I wonder why Eakin's in Edmonton was not all over this as he would know him from the Marlies; with the injuries at center it would have made sense for them.

I wonder how this went down between Feaster and Burke? Did Jay go to Feaster for insight or did Burke go to Feaster with a suggestion. While some may not think this matters it does in understanding the dynamics in the front office.

Who on the roster does this impact the most; I would suggest Horak at this point as I would see him being sent down. I have read on other sites that it probably means Monahan will be sent down but they seem to bring different skill sets.

It will be interesting to see the new lines and how the coaching staff utilizes what they have. Again I'm hoping for them to roll 4 lines. I'm still excited to watch the development of the young guys and now we have a new one to watch. Good luck to him and all the young kids; remember you are expected to compete each and every shift.

Avatar
#58 ChinookArch
September 29 2013, 08:26AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
3
props
aloudoun wrote:

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.

Exactly. The other benefit from having too many centers on the team is that the Flames may have young talent to trade now. This might serve to set up another cap relief trade to a team that needs to give up a quality RFA and wants a quality prospect in return.

Avatar
#59 Dr. Philosophy
September 29 2013, 08:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
7
props

Nonis is the mole!

Avatar
#60 RexLibris
September 29 2013, 09:30AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
5
props

On another note, Andrew Ference named Captain of the Oilers.

Former Flame, now Captain of the Oilers.

Funny how things work sometimes.

Avatar
#61 clyde
September 29 2013, 10:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Although the waiver wire looks quite weak, a player I hope the Flames grab is Colby Robak

Avatar
#62 jai kiran
September 29 2013, 10:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Elliot Friedman was on the Fan 960 talking about Colbourne a couple days ago and he said that he thought Colbourne could be ready to be a 2nd line C, but that he was never going to get that opportunity in Toronto. Will the Flames give him that opportunity? They sure could...

But for all the people who wanted to see Monahan go back to junior, I think the chances just went up.

I saw Colbourne play yesterday, and he looked OK-to-pretty-good, not a perimeter player, going to the front of the net, winning faceoffs - maybe a little nervous (but, in retrospect, clearly he had reason to be nervous).

Friedman talked about a failed wrist surgery 2 years ago that seriously damaged Colbourne's ability to score. But he said that this spring the wrist just clicked back into place and Colbourne started to score just before the AHL playoffs...

This guy's an inch and a half shorter than Keenan Kanzig and he can really skate.

Surely this is a good thing.

Avatar
#63 FireOnIce
September 29 2013, 10:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@RexLibris

No one has loyalty these days. Gone are the times of loyalty to your team and dedication to kicking the crap out of Oilers on a nightly basis. Now it's all hired guns and guys playing for a pay check. Different business.

That said, it's not a bad choice, but I think Hall would have been better. Ference hasn't played anything near a full season since 05/06 and doesn't average more than 12.5 points a season. He'd better be a hell of a locker room guy or that will help sour Hall on the Oilers long term. Hall is the future of this team and while he hasn't quite shown leadership, just giving it to the oldest dude in the room is not always the best idea.

Especially one who played for the Flames.

Avatar
#64 seve927
September 29 2013, 10:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
jai kiran wrote:

Elliot Friedman was on the Fan 960 talking about Colbourne a couple days ago and he said that he thought Colbourne could be ready to be a 2nd line C, but that he was never going to get that opportunity in Toronto. Will the Flames give him that opportunity? They sure could...

But for all the people who wanted to see Monahan go back to junior, I think the chances just went up.

I saw Colbourne play yesterday, and he looked OK-to-pretty-good, not a perimeter player, going to the front of the net, winning faceoffs - maybe a little nervous (but, in retrospect, clearly he had reason to be nervous).

Friedman talked about a failed wrist surgery 2 years ago that seriously damaged Colbourne's ability to score. But he said that this spring the wrist just clicked back into place and Colbourne started to score just before the AHL playoffs...

This guy's an inch and a half shorter than Keenan Kanzig and he can really skate.

Surely this is a good thing.

That's an encouraging report. My expectations have been raised a little. My problem is if he can't play defense, and really hasn't shown any offense outside of brief flashes, what reason is there for optimism. If his wrist injury is truly behind him, there's my answer.

Avatar
#65 Jeff Lebowski
September 29 2013, 11:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

There are some interesting points of view from Leaf fans (Colborne may have underwhelmed).

A new environment sounds almost cliche and hard to use as justification for dealing for a guy but you just see it over and over when guys move to different spots.

If, as they say, Colborne had to outplay the top 6, perhaps he felt like they already pigeoned holed him and they guys above him. Not true competition. Minds made up etc etc.

Calgary seems to taking the philosophy of: "Show us".

Instead of labelling their players, you play PP, 3W etc they just let the guys determine it on ice. That means you put different guys in the situations and see who does it best. They don't do it at NHL level because its a specialized league. Anyway, it is a gamble with Joe. Hopefully he makes the most of the opportunity.

Avatar
#66 RexLibris
September 29 2013, 12:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

@FireOnIce

Ference has earned a Captaincy with his play, demeanour and experience. He has embraced the city (his native one, mind you) more quickly than some previous captains, so the call was the right one.

As for souring Hall for the long-term, he's signed to a seven-year deal. That is just about as long-term as one can get these days. The only question is how long does Ference hold on to the captaincy before it goes to Hall, not whether Hall leaves because of it - that is a non-starter.

With regards to loyalty though, I was just remarking that it is interesting how things can work in the long run. Ference left Calgary a long time ago. He's arguably more of a Bruins' than a Flames alumni now.

And remember, Steve Smith and Grant Fuhr both spent time in Flames' colours at the end of their careers. Loyalty hasn't eroded over the years, it was never more than a transitory state to begin with.

Avatar
#67 Baalzamon
September 29 2013, 12:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@RexLibris

Steve Smith was even the captain of the Flames for a while IIRC.

Avatar
#68 Jeff Lebowski
September 29 2013, 05:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
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.

So let me get this straight.-oilers send 4th round pick to TOR recieve Mike Brown.

-Flames send 4th round pick* to TOR recieve Joe Colborne.

While Brown may ultimately 'play' more NHL games, there is a difference of philosophy in asset management that is striking.Of course the GMs and situations are different but I enjoy this.

*conditional.

Comments are closed for this article.