The McCabe Dilemma
The Maple Leafs have one week and three games to decide whether they will be a buyer or a seller at the March 9 trade deadline, and in that time they must decide what they are going to do with star defenceman Bryan McCabe. . . .The problem, as I see it, with McCabe is that his value is now higher than his actual worth. He's got 53 points in 49 games this season, leading all NHL defenceman in points-per game, on the last year of a deal that is paying him $3.458-million. Even at that salary, under the NHL's $39-million salary cap, it's debatable as to how sought-after McCabe would be around the league.
. . . .the Leafs have yet to sign McCabe and there are growing indications McCabe and his agent, Jeff Solomon, are intent on testing the free agent market July 1.
His defensive game, as has been widely talked about, just isn't up to par.
The Toronto Star reports McCabe and his agent are seeking a five-year deal similar to the one Sergei Gonchar signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the offseason ($5-million/five years). Maple Leafs GM John Ferguson, Jr., needs only to look down the road to Pennsylvania to see how well that's worked out for Mario Lemieux and company.
McCabe? At that price, make a deal. The Leafs already have $4.25-million wrapped up in Tomas Kaberle, and putting an additional $5-million to McCabe virtually guarantees the pairing is the team's top defence pair through the 2010-11 season — barring trades of course.
And we all know the heights to which Kaberle and McCabe have taken the Leafs the past five seasons.