The Toronto Maple Leafs bolstered their blue line on Wednesday by acquiring defenseman Tim Gleason from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman John-Michael Liles and former sixth-round pick Dennis Robertson.
The two teams announced the deal during the 2014 Winter Classic at the University of Michigan, where the Leafs are playing in the NHL’s marquee outdoor event against the Detroit Red Wings.
Gleason is an experienced veteran who plays a physical style of hockey that includes shot blocking, playing against the other team’s top forwards and contributing to the penalty kill (Toronto ranks 27th in penalty killing). The 30-year-old d-man won’t provide much offense (has a career high of 21 points), but be brings a level of truculence that the Leafs currently lack on the blue line. There are two years left on Gleason’s contract, which has a salary cap hit of $4 million.
Liles’ name has been involved in rumors for more than a year because of his poor performance and burdensome contract that has two more years remaining with a $3.875 million salary cap hit. With that said, his puck-moving ability and playmaking skill will help a Carolina team that ranks 23rd in goals scored and 26th in power-play percentage.
As for Robertson, he’s not expected to be a full-time NHLer in the near future.
FWIW, multiple scouting reports on Dennis Robertson: Hard-nosed, meat-and-potatoes def dman, likely good AHLer, longshot to be NHL regular.—
Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 01, 2014
Thumbnail photo via @hockeylinks