Following on the success of two other dormant series PPP and I have decided that in order to fill the gap in NHL news that we'll take a look at each of the current Leafs, possible Leafs on the Marlies, and prospects. We'll recap their performance last year, what we can expect from them, and how they can win our hearts (hint: signing the contract was a good first step...unless your name is Bryan McCabe). We have no idea how long of a series this will end up being or how consistent it will be but with two of us expect it to only be half as half-assed and twice as timely.
There's something funny about making a blooper reel for a player and misspelling his name, but nobody's perfect (except me, obviuosly obviously).
McCabe really hasn't been the same player since the lockout. I don't really want to get in to it, I think he's a good offensive defenseman, the Leafs just have too many of those and Bryan McCabe is a pretty terrible defensive defenseman. Anyhow, let's put all of that behind us, presenting:
Reading the Tea Leafs: Mike Van Ryn!
Contract Status (according to NHL Numbers)
$3.35M salary, $2.9M cap hit, UFA July 1, 2011
Age (as of October 1, 2008)
29, May 14, 1979
Former Leaf he'd have to play like in order to be christened a deity
Bryan McCabe pre-lockout.
Biggest Question Marks
Will Van Ryn and Colaiacovo be injured at the same times, or can they share a jersey and step in for each other while hurt?
Van Ryn played in only 20 games, because he rushed back too soon from wrist surgery. He's had four surgeries on his wrists, two on the right wrist in the past year. He claims his wrist feels "awesome" now, so here's hoping.
Projected 2008-2009 role/team
Van Ryn is a good defenseman, but always injured. (See Colaiacovo, Carlo). If Van Ryn wasn't injury prone the Leafs would not be getting a player of his caliber in return for a salary dump like Bryan McCabe.
Van Ryn plays a very strong defensive game, especially on the penalty kill. He's known for blocking shots, not taking shots, and if he stays healthy he could be a big part of the Leafs' revamped PK and new-look blue line.
He does contribute to the defensive logjam, but hopefully that just means the Leafs will have a lot of talent competing for a spot - hardly a bad thing.