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Florida Panthers

Do defensemen improve after leaving the Leafs?

From Kevin Allen of USA Today:

This might surprise some of you, but I believe it makes sense for the Florida Panthers to acquire Bryan McCabe from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Although McCabe has been consistently shaky for his last couple of seasons in particular, my sense is that McCabe’s struggles had as much to do with his location as his execution.

Toronto can be a place where careers go to die.

Read more from Mucking and Grinding here.

I’m not really sure if what Allen says is true or not and even if it is, it may be more so a result of the Leafs being a bad team than the player feeling liberated.  That said, in this case it is obvious that the Leafs fans are in McCabe’s head; so Allen makes a good point that McCabe could be worth the risk.  Remember, this was a player who was named to the 2006 Canadian Olympic team and the people who assembled that team know a fair amount about the game of hockey.