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Panthers Complete Trade -- With FrozenPoll

Mccabe3 The Panthers get defenseman Bryan McCabe and a fourth round pick in 2010 from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Mike Van Ryn.

Florida GM Jacques Martin will speak to the media at 6 p.m. EST.

McCabe, who already has moved to South Florida, is the key to the deal. McCabe was due a $2 million deferred signing bonus that was scheduled to be paid by the Maple Leafs on Labor Day. Once that payment was made, McCabe agreed to waive his no-trade clause and join the Panthers.

Van Ryn, 29, is coming off major surgery on his right wrist, an injury so severe it limited him to 20 games last season. Van Ryn has been slowed the past few seasons with various wrist injuries, although Ryno_2 he has said he is completely recovered and ready to move on. Van Ryn spent the holiday weekend at his Davie home packing, preparing to make the move back to his native Canada.

Van Ryn said he'll be leaving for Toronto on Wednesday.

"Obviously it's hard to leave all my family and friends that I've made here over the years,'' Van Ryn said Tuesday afternoon. "But this is going to be a good situation for me. I'm going to Toronto, I know a lot of guys there like [Joe] Nieuwendyk and other guys I've grown up with. I'm leaving one home for another.

"Honestly, this isn't as bad a deal as it could have been. Toronto's an Original Six team with a whole lot of history. This is going to fun and I'm going to get a new opportunity there. But it is hard to leave. This is home. People have been good to me here.''

Like Van Ryn, McCabe, 33, was slowed by injuries last season. The 12-year veteran missed 28 games because of various injuries. McCabe missed six games early in the season because of a groin injury, then missed two months when he broke three bones in his left hand after being checked into the boards during a loss at Montreal.

McCabe -- who refused to waive his no-trade clause at last year's trade deadline -- returned Feb. 7 at Montreal and played in Toronto's final 27 games last season, scoring one goal and adding 10 assists in those games. McCabe had a total of five goals and 18 assists last season, his lowest offensive output since he recorded 24 points in 2002-03.

Last season snapped a run in which McCabe recorded at least 50 points in three consecutive seasons for the Leafs. His 54 games played were a career low.

The Panthers hope a change of scenery will be beneficial. In the summer of 2006, McCabe signed a five-year deal worth 29 million. He has three years left on his contract with a salary cap hit of $5.75 million. Florida will pay $4.15 million each of the next three seasons but its salary cap will still reflect the average of McCabe's total salary.

Not counting any other movement, the addition of McCabe and subtraction of Van Ryn leaves the Florida payroll at close to $53 million this season with a cap hit of approximately $55 million. The NHL's salary cap this season is $56.7 million.


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What better way to tell the player, who you are also telling the public you want to resign as part of the core, that he is being marginalized and pushed out than by bringing in two other, high priced defensemen to play his role. Bye bye Bouwmeester and hello to the Florida Maple Leafs. How much more crap can the P.R. dept. release to keep people believing they want to improve the team?

umm spending 55 million when the cap is 56 is a pr move to make people believe they want to improve the team?? Thats a pretty funny point of view.

Jay has left the team with no choice but to plan for one of 2 things: his departure or improving the team to keep him.

So, I'm not sure how acquiring McCabe is a smokescreen PR move here. He's definitely an upgrade over Van Ryn, and instantly makes our defense among the best in the East.

The biggest question mark remains the offense...we're banking on the continued development of our youth. If they step up and look playoff-bound, we'll see if Jay is really interested in sticking around.

McCabe is an improvement on Van Ryn in the offensive zone, but a down grade in the defensive, firstly. Secondly, the amount of money a team spends is more a PR move, than the way it is spent. People around here criticized this team for not spending money in the past, but now they're spending it, but not wisely. THEY HAVE NO OFFENSE.

As for Bouw leaving. Why is it all the stars of this team want out? Because they know that this organization has no desire to win, only talks it. They want the public to buy into the rhetoric, so they can continue controlling the arena, where they're making all the real cash.

I agree that McCabe is a downgrade defensively over a healthy Van Ryn. However, I immediately turn to 2 thoughts here:

1. There's no guarantee we'll see the Van Ryn of 2 years ago. He hasn't been the same since the wrist injury, and even though he says he's 100%, we've heard this before.

2. We desperately need offense here, and McCabe addresses that need better than Van Ryn can. Would I have preferred the offense to come from a forward acquisition? Of course. But, I'm not going to wring my hands over adding McCabe.

And, yes, there is definitely a systemic problem in Pantherland when your franchise players are hesitant to commit. Granted, Jokinen didn't want out so much as he wanted things to change. Cohen waffled on whose team this was, JM or Olli, and in the end JM won out.

I think, right now, we've got a plan...something we haven't had in years. The key will be whether Cohen can keep his nose out of hockey operations and let JM see the plan through, whether it succeeds or fails.

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