The Jared Cowen era in Toronto is over, and what an era it wasn’t.
The former ninth overall pick never played a game for Toronto after being acquired. Dealing with a hip injury that’s dogged him throughout his career, Cowen was sent home shortly after the Phaneuf trade.
The Leafs didn’t want to risk playing him and potentially re-aggravating the injury, because the goal all along was to buy Cowen out.
See, Cowen has a curious clause in his deal — per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, any team that buys out Cowen this summer gets a salary cap credit of $650,000.
The 25-year-old rearguard — the ninth overall pick in 2009 — has one year left on his four-year, $12.4 million deal.
Of course, once the buyout’s complete, that won’t be of concern for teams looking to acquire him — and it’s safe to assume there will be teams looking.
Despite questions about his mobility, Cowen is still a 6-foot-5, 240-pound defenseman that showed some promise early in his career.