The San Jose Sharks are bringing back a familiar face to replace John Scott.
After allowing the 6-foot-8, 259-pound enforcer to sign elsewhere this summer (Scott signed in Arizona), the Sharks announced on Monday they’ve come to terms on a one-year, two-way contract with Frazer McLaren.
McLaren, originally a seventh-round pick of the Sharks (203rd overall) in 2007, spent parts of four seasons in San Jose prior to being claimed off waivers by the Leafs in January 2013.
The 27-year-old has appeared in 102 career NHL games with the Sharks and Leafs scoring four goals and seven assists while racking up 34 fighting majors and 264 penalty minutes.
McLaren spent last season with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies registering one assist and 62 penalty minutes in 22 games.
With his contract set to expire and his future in the game uncertain the Toronto Maple Leafs have recalled Colton Orr.
Orr spent the entire season with the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies registering four penalty minutes while appearing in 14 games.
An undrafted free agent signing of the Boston Bruins, Orr has appeared in 476 career NHL games with the Bruins, New York Rangers and Leafs registering 24 points and 1,186 penalty minutes.
Orr was waived along with fellow enforcer Frazer McLaren in October.
The Leafs play host to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night in the season finale.
Given the way the game is headed, it could be Orr’s final NHL game.
It appears Toronto will no longer try and punch its way to victory.
On Monday, the Leafs put veteran tough guys Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren on waivers, a significant shift in philosophy from a team that once prided itself on “pugnacity, testosterone, truculence.”
Orr, 32, was arguably the poster boy for ex-GM Brian Burke’s pugnacious approach. He averaged two points, five minutes TOI per game and 11 fights annually during his five-year stint in Toronto, racking up over 600 PIM.
McLaren, 26, was claimed off waivers shortly into the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign and proceeded to fight 21 times over parts of two seasons, appearing in 62 games all told.
In other moves today, Toronto put German rearguard Korbinian Holzer on waivers — meaning 21-year-old (and ’11 first-rounder) Stuart Percy made the team as the seventh defenseman; the Leafs also re-assigned Swedish wunderkind William Nylander to either the AHL or Sweden (the club hasn’t yet decided where the eighth overall pick at this year’s draft will play.)
While all of today’s moves hold significance, many will point to the Orr and McLaren moves as further evidence of Toronto adopting a more “modern” approach to the game. Their dedication to analytics and progressive statistical research is well documented; now, it appears they’re utilizing that information and approach to remake the roster and use more skilled, versatile players in the bottom six forward group — as opposed to guys that are primarily out there to fight and intimidate.