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Toronto Acquires Gleason from Canes..Send JM Liles and 'Spect Dennis Robertson to Carolina

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From the Toronto Maple Leafs website:





Not a bad swap for both teams.
I'd even give a slight edge to the Leafs (at least in the short term) here simply because Gleason will add on and fit right in with the type of game Toronto plays: tough, in your face, with some fast offense.
Gleason is NOT the most talented defenseman you are going to find out there, but on the Leafs, he doesn't have to be.
All he has to do is be physical, nasty, and not do anything stupid on the ice. Given that the Leafs have many more pieces than the Hurricanes, that should be a bit easier for him to do there as opposed to Carolina where the team is still trying to 'find itself'.
As for Liles, Canes are probably looking for a change of scenery to finally get this guy going in a consistent fashion.
His best traits are puck movement, with a touch of offense, and Carolina is hoping his quick defensive zone exits can lead to some fast transition offense for the talented Canes forwards.
As tough as Gleason was for the Canes, he didn't provide the kind of smart defensive and puck moving play to maximize the Canes front line speed.
Liles could very well continue to be mediocre on the Canes, but at this point, Carolina doesn't have a whole lot to lose.
However, if the Canes want their young players to develop properly, they best try to replace both Gleason and Westgarth as guys who can protect their talent.
Guys like Skinner, Staal, and Semin up front won't be nearly as effective if they have to worry about the opposition's grinders constantly pounding on them with no fear of retribution.
And of course, there is minor leaguer Robertson. If he develops well, he could very well win this trade for Carolina down the road.
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Also, in further looking at this deal from the Leafs' POV, seems to me they are gearing up to building a team to compete almost directly with Boston.


Adding Gleason's tough play to go along with fellow D-men Cody Franson, Mark Fraser, and of course Dion Phaneuf seems like an answer for the overall physical play that everyone knows the Bruins bring to each and every game..and seem to ramp that up in the post season.


Not a bad plan of attack and line of thinking by the Leafs mind you, since Boston IS after all the top team in the East at the moment, but I just have to wonder if the Leafs would be able to deal just as effectively should they draw a more speed and finesse oriented team before Boston in the post season.

A team like say, Montreal, Tampa Bay, Detroit, or Ottawa.


I suppose in those cases the Leafs would play more the role of the 'big bully' and try to smash, bash, and garbage goal their way through them, however, those teams may have the potential to make a bruiser-heavy defense like the Leafs are building look quite silly with their fast play and VERY skilled snipers.

In the case of the Tampa Bay Lightning, not only are they skilled, but have team size as well. 

Lightning don't really play a crushing style like the Leafs or Bruins, however, they CAN hit, check, and play that style if need be, simply because many of their players have good size and speed to do so.
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With offensive d-men like Phaneuf, the underrated Franzen and Jake Gardiner, the up and coming Morgan Reilly and nice stay at home Gunnarson Liles never really fit. I love that soft players such as Liles and Grabovski have been shown the door and replaced by tough sons of guns, guys like Clarkson (granted way overpaid) Bolland and now Gleason who take no guff. Randy Carlyle types all. I watch a ton of Leaf games because I have leaf players all over in fantasy and frankly they play a tough in your face contest the cup give no inch of hockey that I love. I am envious, they are interesting and fun to watch.

  In Liles the Canes get a puck moving d-man who replaces Pitkanen, the last of the icing casualties before hybrid became the rule. Liles is a wonderful puck mover with holes in his games to be sure but he can thread the needle with the best of them. Alongside kids Murphy and Faulk he could be a perfect mentor.


  A good deal for both teams. A trade of position for position that netted both clubs exactly what they both needed. Salary and term are the same as well so it works well with both.

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