There’s just something illicit about any trade between the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs that involves a player previously acquired by Brian Burke. It’s got the musty odor of the old boys network, as Dave Nonis does his mentor a solid. At worst, it’s Burke desperately trying to turn around his current team with a castoff from his former one.
Center Joe Colborne, the centerpiece of Burke’s trade of Tomas Kaberle to the Boston Bruins in 2011, was traded by the Leafs on Saturday to the Flames for a conditional draft pick – a fourth-rounder next summer that can be upgraded to a third-round pick in 2014 if, according to Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Herald, “he gets 10 goals or 35 points this season and Flames make playoffs.”
So, a fourth-round pick, then …
He’s 6-5 and 213 pounds, and GM Jay Feaster said that was a factor in Burke, er, Calgary acquiring him:
"As an organization we have had many discussions this past year about Joe, but never made an offer,” said Flames General Manager Jay Feaster. “With the opportunity to speak with Brian Burke and learn about Joe's hockey sense and character from someone who had him as a player and knows him so well, it became clear to us that this is the type of young, big centre we need. He fits in very well with our rebuild and provides size up the middle which we believe is critical going forward. The fact that he is from Calgary is an added bonus. We look forward to welcoming him to the Flames family."
Colborne to the Flames had been theorized even since Burke took over, although the prevailing wisdom was that he’d be traded to Calgary as incentive to take on a big veteran contract, like that of John-Michael Liles. Colborne was caught in a numbers crunch in Toronto, and frankly never blossomed as Burke indicated he would.
He’ll get another chance at it in Calgary, which is a donut up front this season.