Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes: March 3, 2014

The Toronto Maple Leafs placed left-winger Frazer McLaren on waivers today. The move will clear enough cap space for the Leafs to eventually activate centre Dave Bolland from long-term injured reserve. McLaren has zero points, 72 penalty minutes and averages just over four minutes of ice time per game in 26 games this season.

McLaren will likely clear waivers and be assigned to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. However, don’t expect him to be a positive addition on that team, because, as Jeff Veillette of The LeafsNation writes, McLaren has six points in his last 86 AHL games.

Does McLaren’s release mean head coach Randy Carlyle is moving away from his enforcer-heavy strategy? James Mirtle of The Globe and Mail looks into that question. I guess the answer will come when we see what Carlyle does with Colton Orr and how he deploys his fourth line in the games to come.

Carlyle has a lot of old-school tendencies as a coach, but I do somewhat admire his unwillingness to allow the critics to change how he approaches the game. David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail has a great piece on Carlyle’s evolution from Northern Ontario working-class kid to flashy offensive defenseman to hard-nosed bench boss.

It’s no secret the Toronto Maple Leafs could use some defensive help in this crucial stretch of the season. Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look at some of the defensemen that may be available as Wednesday afternoon’s trade deadline quickly approaches. The most interesting name there is the Winnipeg Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien, who, according to Carchidi, allegedly could be had for only “a roster player and a first-round draft pick”.

Pension Plan Puppets’ European correspondent J.P. Nikota was in Slovakia to take in another KHL game on Friday night. Once again, he has a glowing review to share.

Tags: Dave Bolland Dustin Byfuglien Frazer Mclaren Randy Carlyle Toronto Maple Leafs

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