The move wasn’t exactly a big surprise, but it was nevertheless exciting. The Leafs waiving Jay Rosehill and Darryl Boyce was good news all around, but especially so for Matt Frattin.
Brian Burke knew that Boyce could find work elsewhere, but also knew that Matt Frattin was ready for (what appears to be) a more permanent role with the big club. It was a classy move by Burke, giving Boyce the chance to ply his trade elsewhere in the league. Of course, Burke could do so with a certain degree of confidence in the depth of his team, with youngsters pushing for bigger roles.
Leafs fans haven’t had long to relish this kind of situation.
The waiving of Rosehill, however, signalled that the Leafs are headed further and further away from having so-called enforcers on their roster. As much as Brian Burke seems to loathe the idea of a team without several sherrifs to keep law and order, having Mike Brown and a whole cast of players that can take care of themselves seems to be more than good enough. The best teams, it seems, seem to have several players that can play and fight. This is just another promising sign for the Leafs.
Now, it’s true that Ron Wilson has recently accorded less ice time to the likes of David Steckel, but a recent downturn in overall team play probably has lead Wilson to play his top six even more, in the hopes of evening up the score in games where the Leafs trail. Moreover, that the Leafs have waived two players and only called up one suggests that the Leafs are positioning themselves to make a deal. What kind remains to be seen.
For Matt Frattin, the time to firmly establish himself as an NHL player is ripe. After scoring 9 goals in his last 12 games with the Marlies, he seems to have convinced Brian Burke that the same player that was kicked off his University of North Dakota hockey team really has turned things around. Here’s hoping, Matt.