Bryan mcCabe Source: Miami Herald

Panthers Roster: Bryan McCabe

The Trade Deadline is February 28th at 3PM EST. What we’re doing everyday until then is do an honest roster break down of the current roster for the month of February. Today, we look at Bryan McCabe.

Kind of ironic that today, I’m scheduled to write ab0ut the future of defenceman and captain of the Florida Panthers Bryan McCabe.  McCabe has been the subject of many trade rumors over the past few days and while I’m not here to speculate which team has the lead, or if he’s going, please don’t be surprised if after the moment you read this, he’s traded.  Or not.

McCabe was originally drafted by the New York Islanders in the second round as the 40th overall pick in 1993.   McCabe spent some time developing in the WHL with teams like Medicine Hat, Spokane, and the Brandon Wheat Kings, as well as seeing some action in the World Juniors in both the 93-94 and 94-95 seasons.  A defenceman with the ability to move the puck, man the powerplay, and score some points, was all part of McCabe’s skillset.  He also had, and still has one of the best slapshots from the blueline in the game.

His stint on the island was short as he was involved in a big trade with the Vancouver Canucks which saw him and Todd Bertuzzi go to the Canucks for Trevor Linden.  Lasting just a little more than one season, McCabe was sent sent to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1999 but only lasted there on season before moving on to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he enjoyed some of his best years as a pro.  The 2005-2006 season was McCabe’s best as he scored 19 goals and had 49 assists for 69 points.  At that point in his career his slap shot from the point was deadly.

The tide however turned quickly on McCabe as he was eaten alive by the Toronto media for any and all mistakes that the Leafs made, including many of his own.  I would say that some of it might have been justified and some of it not.  The only answer for McCabe was to get out.  there was no way that things would improve for him, as virtually every time he touched the puck in Toronto, the boos chorused throughout the ACC.

Finally in what was in my opinion the ONLY good thing that Uncle Jack (Jacques Martin) did while he was here, a trade was made with the Leafs in exchange for the now retired Mike Van Ryn.  The trade brought McCabe some peace and tranquility.  And an opportunity to regain not only his confidence, but his game.

Bryan has had a fairly steady go of it here in South Florida.  He was named Captain of the Panthers before the 2009-2010 season began, and has consistently been one of the better defenders we’ve had.  His goal production is down slightly, but this year that can be attributed to missing a few weeks with a broken jaw.  He has just recently returned to action.

What will happen with McCabe is anyone’s guess right now.  He is in the last year of a five year contract that pays him $5.7 million dollars.  Bryan also has a no trade clause and has indicated that he would like to stay here in Florida, which would mean resigning after the year is over.  I have no idea if that is in the panthers plans right now, but if it is, I would bet that it will not be for anywhere near that amount.  there’s a few teams that need a puck moving defenceman for their playoff push.  You can read the internet for who they might be, as this sight isn’t a rumor mill.

If the Panthers hang onto McCabe and pass on a deal that can bring a draft pick or a prospect but end up not signing him, it will be another mistake.  If both sides agree to work out a deal to stay, then holding him may be beneficial.  He’s 35 and will be 36 on the same day as Little Miss Rat Trick in June.  That’s no reason to pass on a deal that will help improve our future.

Your thoughts?

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Tags: Bryan Mccabe Captain Florida Panthers Jacques Martin Mike Van Ryn Toronto Maple Leafs Trevor Linden Vancouver Canucks

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