Leafs finally deal McCabe

CanWest News Service
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Van Ryn headed for Toronto in a trade that's as much about money as the players

For three weeks, Mike Van Ryn has known that he was going to be traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

News outlets had not only predicted the day, but had pinpointed the exact time the transaction was to go down. But unlike Bryan McCabe, who moved to Florida before the anticipated deal with the Panthers was done, Van Ryn cautiously waited before calling his real estate agent.

Toronto - For three weeks, Mike Van Ryn has known that he was going to be traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

News outlets had not only predicted the day, but had pinpointed the exact time the transaction was to go down. But unlike Bryan McCabe, who moved to Florida before the anticipated deal with the Panthers was done, Van Ryn cautiously waited before calling his real estate agent.

"We haven't put our house up for sale yet," he said Tuesday from his South Florida home.

The 29-year-old had reason to be doubtful.

Van Ryn expected a phone call from his agent Tuesday morning to announce he was switching teams. But, for most of the day, the only people to ring his house were friends, family members and curious reporters.

Van Ryn told them what he knew: nothing.

"Between you and me, I'm having a stogie in the family room with my wife and dog," he said around 1 p.m. "I thought it was supposed to happen at 11 this morning. But I guess not.

"Maybe Bryan (McCabe) knows something more than I do."

Aside from the exact time - the deal was finally announced at 4:30 p.m. ET - there were few surprises surrounding the much-anticipated trade.

The deal that sent Van Ryn to Toronto for McCabe and a 2010 fourth-round draft choice had been in the works for nearly a month. The only thing holding it up was a $2-million US bonus that McCabe was to be paid on Sept. 1.

Still, Van Ryn avoided throwing a going-away party until the ink on the deal dried.

"You know how many times (long-time Panthers captain) Olli Jokinen was supposed to be traded?" he said. "And, until recently, he never was. A few years ago, they said I was going to Edmonton. They were looking for a two-way defenceman and everyone was saying I was going to go there. Obviously, I never got traded."

This time, the trade happened.

"We finally got it done," said Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher, who added the league's lawyers delayed the transaction from happening earlier. than Tuesday afternoon.

New Leaf Mike van Ryn

"Moving forward, this will be a good thing for the Leafs," said Fletcher.

Indeed, the Leafs save a significant amount under the salary cap by moving McCabe, who was the team's highest-paid player at $5.75-million per season. Van Ryn's salary, meanwhile, counts as $2.9-million against the cap for each of the next two seasons.

"This definitely gives us substantial cap relief and flexibility," Fletcher said. "Not that it would be an issue this year."

For Van Ryn, leaving the place where he played for the past four seasons was bittersweet. He had met his wife, Amber, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, in Florida. And he had enjoyed the best season of his career with the Panthers.

But after struggling with nagging wrist injuries for the past two years, Van Ryn said it was time to move on.

"This feels like home," he said of Florida. "It's probably a place where we're going to come back to in the off-season. But I'm excited to be able to start fresh."

Van Ryn is no stranger to Toronto.

He grew up in London, Ont., and he said he understands the psyche of the hockey-obsessed city. And he believes his brief experience captaining Canada's under-20 team as a teenager will help him adjust to the scrutiny that comes with playing for the Leafs.

"When I was playing at the world juniors, you had to answer a lot of the questions, like why you didn't play so well after a game," said Van Ryn, who won a silver medal in the 1999 tournament in Winnipeg.

"But I don't think anything is like Toronto.

"Florida sure wasn't."

National Post

A terrific softball pitcher in the 1960s and '70s, Forbes Metcalfe pitched a no-hitter in his career and won three consecutive playoff MVP awards from 1969 to 1971 in the St. John's Senior Softball League.

Metcalfe played hockey in the Conception Bay South circuit before joining the Guards in the St. John's junior league. He went on to play for the St. John's Capitals and was a member of the team when it won three Herder Memorial Trophy provincial championships.

Organizations: Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Miami Dolphins National Post Senior Softball League

Geographic location: Toronto, Florida, South Florida US St. John's Edmonton London, Ont. Canada Winnipeg

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments