Maple Leafs deal Colborne to Flames for fourth-round pick

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are figuring out how to cut down their roster, and they’ve made a trade to help that along.

The Leafs sent center Joe Colborne to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft. The pick can be upgraded to a third-round selection if certain conditions are met this season. Flames GM Jay Feaster had glowing words about his new player.

“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 center we need. He fits in very well with our rebuild and provides size up the middle which we believe is critical going forward.”

With the Flames, Colborne will get the opportunity to jump right into things at center as that’s one of their big (many?) weaknesses. It was clear he wasn’t going to make Toronto’s roster and if they put him on waivers they likely would’ve lost him for nothing.

The obvious connection to make here is with new Flames director of hockey operations Brian Burke and Leafs GM Dave Nonis.

It was Burke as GM of the Leafs who acquired Colborne from the Boston Bruins in the Tomas Kaberle deal in 2011. Now he heads to his hometown of Calgary to be part of Burke’s team there as the two former co-workers teamed up to swing the deal.