Leafs Mike Brown has been traded to the Edmonton Oilers for picks.Whyyyyyyyy?
— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) March 4, 2013
|The resemblence is uncanny|
I don't understand this move. Alright, I do, because when you can get a 4th round pick (especially one from Edmonton) for a 4th liner, you have to do it. In hockey terms, this is a pretty solid trade for the Toronto Maple Leafs. But with the team having four legitimate fighters in the lineup -- forwards Brown, Colton Orr, Frazer McLaren, and defenseman Mark Fraser -- they trade the one forward who can skate backwards.
Since his arrival in 2010-11, Brown has gained the respect and admiration of Leafs fans, for his physical style and ability to contribute in more ways then just dropping the gloves, as well as having one of the best moustaches in sports. Brown had the ability to get in on the forecheck, as well as play responsibly in his own end. On numerous occasions, he played on the penalty kill, and his willingness to sacrifice the body and block shots was beautiful to watch. Even though guys like him don't score a ton of goals or contribute offensively, they're needed for the good of a team, and can become extremely valuable.
The only knock on Brown for me was his inability to stay healthy, which, when you play a style like he did, can be expected. He only played 50 games in both of his first two seasons in Toronto, and not many of those were healthy scratches. My favourite memory of Brown came in his first campaign with the Leafs, when he blocked two shots in the final minute of a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning -- breaking his finger on the first attempt -- then stayed on the ice until the Leafs iced the puck.
How awesome is that? How gutsy is that? The guy is doing whatever it takes to find a way to keep a job in the league, including volunteerily standing in the way of 100-MPH shots. Man, hockey kicks ass.
So there you have it. I'll miss Brown, but hockey is a business, and a 4th round pick from a team ran by Steve Tambellini is pretty dang sweet. I hope Brown finds success with Edmonton, and continues to find ways to stay in an NHL lineup.
In honour of his departure, here's a couple of my favourite #BrownBeaut scraps that he had while with the Maple Leafs. Enjoy him, Oilers fans.
Ah, I miss him already.