Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

With trade deadline drama done, Leafs focus on Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux and Toronto Maple Leafs' Carl Gunnarsson battle exchange blows during third period action at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ont. March 10/2011.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Goalie trade? What goalie trade?

That was the public attitude of James Reimer and his fellow Toronto Maple Leafs as they went back to work Thursday, one day after general manager David Nonis just missed landing Miikka Kiprusoff and Roberto Luongo by the NHL's trade deadline.

Nonis actually had a deal in place with the Calgary Flames for Kiprusoff but he decided Wednesday morning to stay in Calgary. Then the focus switched to Vancouver, where Nonis was willing to give up a second- and third-round pick plus Leafs backup goaltender Ben Scrivens for Luongo, but the deal fell apart when Canucks GM Mike Gillis reportedly would not pay part of Luongo's humongous contract, one the veteran goaltender famously said "sucks" in a post-deadline press conference.

Story continues below advertisement

The drama built to an anti-climax with the Leafs on a four-day break, giving youngsters Reimer and Scrivens lots of time to agonize over the fact their bosses were looking elsewhere for goaltending help. But as the Leafs prepared for Thursday night's game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Reimer, who will start, brushed aside any suggestion he is the sort of delicate flower whose feelings were bruised by the dances with Luongo and Kiprusoff.

"I wasn't too worried about it and I'm glad I wasn't," he said after the Leafs' game-day skate. "If I was, I would have wasted a couple of good days."

Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle said he did not notice any angst on the part of his incumbent goalies.

"Their work ethic and personalities didn't change," he said. "I didn't see them sitting in the corner and fretting."

The newest Maple Leaf, defenceman Ryan O'Byrne, was still making his way to Toronto from Colorado Thursday morning and missed the skate. Carlyle said he was not expected to arrive until the late afternoon and wasn't sure if he would put O'Byrne into the lineup.

"I don't know if it's the right thing to do, pull him off an airplane and put him in the lineup," Carlyle said. "That's a decision we'll make tonight. It is an option."

If the 6-foot-5, 234-pound O'Byrne is put into the lineup, Leafs fans will find that he is a physical defenceman who takes care of business in his own end, according to John-Michael Liles, who was his partner with the Colorado Avalanche and is expected to be reunited with him.

Story continues below advertisement

"He's an easy guy to play with," said Liles, who is the exact opposite of O'Byrne, a small defenceman who is slick with the puck. "He's big but still moves pretty well for a big man. He communicates well and I liked playing with him."

Also on the bubble is forward Frazer McLaren. He is still recovering from the flu, although he took part in Thursday's skate. Carlyle said McLaren is spending most of his time "close to the bathroom" and will be a game-time decision.

The Leafs called up centre Joe Colborne from their Toronto Marlies farm team just in case McLaren can't play. Forwards Clarke MacArthur and Leo Komarov are close to returning from injuries but Komarov will not play against the Flyers while MacArthur is doubtful.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨