BY TREVOR BOOTH – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
With the return of Matt Frattin to the Toronto Maple Leafs active roster imminent, it was clear that GM Dave Nonis had to make a move of some kind to free up a roster spot. The only players on the active roster that would not be subject to a waiver claim if they moved to the Toronto Marlies are Nazem Kadri, (clearly not going anywhere because of his play so far this season), defenceman Korbinian Holzer and sparkplug-hit machine Leo Komarov. When Mike Brown went down with a shoulder injury earlier this shortened season, Nonis plucked Frazer McLaren off of waivers from the San Jose Sharks to fill the void. That move all but sealed the fate of Mike Brown as a Leaf and he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday for a draft pick.
Randy Carlyle’s teams are pretty clearly structured. The top six forwards are the major offensive contributors. The third line is made up of a trio that can contribute offence but can also check and bang with the oppositions top forwards. The fourth line is might and muscle with little offensive upside. The resurgence of Colton Orr, the addition of Frazer McLaren and the revolving door of Jay McClement and David Steckel down the middle on said fourth line made Mike Brown expendable.
When Mike Brown was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on June 26, 2010 for a fifth round draft pick, I personally did not know that much about him. In his first year with the Leafs he rarely found the score sheet, contributing only three goals and adding five assist for eight points in fifty games. What he did bring, which was sorely lacking on that team, was grit and heart.
My message to all of you Oiler fans out there is don’t expect a great deal of offence from this guy. Don’t expect him to overpower the opposing team’s top forwards. Don’t expect him to play 82 games a year. But do expect that every time Mike Brown is in the lineup, you will get nothing less than 100 percent effort from him.
He will provide a little more protection and room on the ice for the young Oilers’ up and coming stars. You won’t notice him on the score sheet, but you will notice that he never takes a shift off and is absolutely fearless on the ice. That kind of attitude and heart reminds me of a former Maple Leaf player who never backed down from anyone. Even if the only similarities between them were the way they played the game so fearlessly and they both had really cool moustaches.
Thanks Mike! Good luck with your new team. Get ready Oil, I think that you’re gonna’ love this guy!
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