The 25 year old defenceman, acquired on February 9 from the Ottawa Senators in the Dion Phaneuf trade has not played a game as a Leaf, and likely never will. It's a steep drop for a man who really does seem to believe in himself while no one else does.
He's been on IR since the trade, not for any specified injury but something a little more unusual per Mike Babcock:
"They just felt that his hips were really tight," Babcock said. "So he’s not injured or nothing. We’re going to spend the next 10 days doing what we can to help him loosen his hips up so we can catch him being good when he starts."On Friday, Cowen was activated off of IR, placed on waivers and cleared today at noon.
Speculation is that the waiving actually increases his trade value, which rests entirely in a contract anomaly that would give a $650,000 cap credit next year to the team that buys out his $3.1 million contract this summer. It's unlikely the Leafs will need that small a slice taken out of their cap hit, but there are teams that may think it's worth it
A team that takes Cowen off the Leafs' hands now, pays him for the rest of the year, but they can stash him in the AHL pressbox, keep him uninjured and forget about him until the buyout window opens. It seems that's his destiny.