While the Leafs are playing in the Winter Classic, their front office has come to a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Tim Gleason. The Leafs give up healthy scratch John-Michael Liles & defensive prospect Dennis Robertson in the deal.
Tim Gleason is a 30-year-old veteran who has spent the majority of his career with the Hurricanes. He’s currently two years into a four year, $4 million per year deal. A defensive-defenseman, Gleason is not known for putting up points, as shown by his 128 points in 616 career games. The Michigan native has a no trade clause with the Hurricanes, but is expected to waive it in order to play with the Leafs, as he has been a healthy scratch for some of the year in Carolina.
John-Michael Liles was acquired by the Leafs from the Colorado Avalanche on June 24th, 2011, for a 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft. Last year, while injured, he signed a contract extension with the Leafs worth 15.5 million dollars over 4 years (3.875 per year). He’s been up and down with the Leafs & Marlies this year, recording 0 points in 6 games in the NHL and 13 points (including 3 goals) in 16 games in the AHL.
Dennis Robertson, the lone prospect in the deal, was drafted by the Leafs in the 6th round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He’s not seen as an NHL prospect and was not likely to get a contract from the Leafs at the end of this year. The 22 year old is a senior at Brown University, where he has also been captain since his junior year. For more on Dennis Robertson, Clark Aitken wrote about him here on Pension Plan Puppets
The deal is likely a sideways moves for both sides, as they both give up overpaid healthy scratches who may fit somewhere better on their new squads.