Eric Francis surprised Maple Leafs cut Curtis Glencross

Curtis Glencross comments on being traded to the Washington Capitals and the wear it takes on a player.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been busy trimming their roster ahead of the 2015-16 season.

While one winger — hometown kid Brad Boyes — received a one-year deal, others were handed their walking papers.

Sportsnet’s Eric Francis expected to see Devin Setoguchi cut, but he admits he was surprised when the Maple Leafs cut Curtis Glencross on Sunday.

“I was a little bit surprised when the Leafs cut [Glencross] so early — or when they cut him at all,” Francis told Dean Blundell & Co. Tuesday morning. “It looked like they had opened up some spots for him before camp started.”

Glencross, 32, was offered a PTO with the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.

Mark Fraser was also released on Monday, but landed a two-way deal with the Ottawa Senators.

LISTEN: Eric Francis on Dean Blundell & Co.

Francis, who is based in Calgary, has had plenty of opportunity to watch Glencross play during the winger’s seven seasons with the Flames.

“Here’s a guy just three years ago, or four years ago, he was on pace for 30-goal seasons if he wasn’t injured,” Francis said. “There are only what, 15 or 20 guys a year that get 30 goals in the National Hockey League, but [the Leafs] weren’t willing to give him that chance.”

So what is to blame for Glencross’s decline?

“Somewhere along the way, the work ethic that got him into the NHL as an undrafted player, it just kind of dropped off,” said Francis. “Injuries were a part of that, too.”

Glencross, who broke into the league by signing as a free agent with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006-07, hasn’t managed a full 82-game season in his career. The closest he came was playing 79 games in 2010-11, during which he tallied 24 goals and 43 points. He had his best season the following year, recording 26 goals and 48 points in 67 games.

“[The Leafs] didn’t see much in him early, and we didn’t see much in him here in Calgary over the last couple years and that’s just a shame,” said Francis.

Glencross’ current situation isn’t at all what he’d expected would come from dipping into free agency July 1.

“Glencross, I can tell you, at the trade deadline last year, was expecting on the open market to land about a four-year deal, for about $4.25 million a year. That’s $17 million. And now he’s staring at a big fat zero, and wondering if he’ll ever play in the National Hockey League again. I feel terrible for him.”

Glencross has registered 134 goals and 275 points in 507 career NHL games, split between the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Washington Capitals.

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