Bryan McCabe will play for the Islanders again at some point before he hangs up his skates, of that I'm sure. However, unless the Maple Leafs buy him out, I’m fairly certain it’s not going to be this year.
As much as the Toronto media can be badasses, I find it charming how they often take one for the Maple Leafs. The rumors of McCabe coming to Long Island, all generated out of the province of Ontario, often read like come-ons. (“C’mon Islanders, how can you not do McCabe for two picks and a prospect”?)
What is it they do not understand? He has a no-move clause and there may be two teams (at most) that he may be okay going to. McCabe earned the right to tell the Leafs to stick it when the Maple Leafs gave it to him as part of a contract negotiation when they really wanted him to play for their team.
Why would the Islanders do the Leafs a favor, and also give up something of value? There is no reason for the Islanders to take on Caber’s wicked contract unless the Leafs include a major sweetener. For example, the deal would have to look this:
Islanders get: Bryan McCabe, first round pick in 2009
Maple Leafs get: 7th round pick in 2011
I’m not really exaggerating what the Islanders would need to give up.
Of course, since Cliff Fletcher already paid a dear price to move from 7 to 5 and take Luke Schenn in the first round, he has very few chips to offer (that didn’t last long!). Although I thought the Islanders should have stayed at 5 and taken Nik-Fil-A, Garth Snow did get a good return. In fact, I dislike Fletcher’s decision far more than Garth’s. One thing Cliff has going for him: if Schenn can just stand upright, the TO press will hail him as the next Larry Robinson.
Despite the no-move, I believe McCabe would come to the Island with a huge Irish grin on his face. His wife’s family is here and he loves the Island. I always say Long Island is one of the greatest places in the world to live. It is the greatest place in the world to live if you’ve got a lot of dough.
Only slightly off-topic: my list of celebrities I’ve run into at Laguardia: Art Garfunkel, Ray Davies, Bryan McCabe (7x).
Bryan’s been a target at times in Toronto because the Leafs gave him a big contract and he’s not as smooth as Borje Salming. He’s also taken some shots on the Island because of the “Can Opener” stuff from the ’02 playoffs.
But I hope at some point he gets to represent the Islanders again. Time will tell if the Leafs have the guts to buy him out, because if they do Bryan could be an Islander sooner.
Bryan McCabe can play on my team anytime.