Revisiting The Leafs Owen Nolan Trade
After watching Brad Boyes play so well last night in the Boston Bruins 3-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens and wondering how the Leafs could have traded Boyes away, I figured it would be a good time to look at the big Owen Nolan trade again.
On March 5, 2003 the San Jose Sharks traded Owen Nolan to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Alyn McCauley Brad Boyes and a 1st round draft choice in 2003. As we all know the Leafs are in a contract dispute with Owen Nolan and declined to pay Nolan his $5.6M salary this year. Since Nolan injured himself while at home, the Leafs also decided they are not responsible for buying Nolan out for two thirds of his salary. This matter still has not been resolved.
At the time of the trade the Leafs felt they were getting the big power forward that could get them to the promised land of the Stanley Cup finals. In 2003 Nolan finished the regular season with a respectable 12 points in 14 games. In the playoffs Nolan chipped in an unsatisfactory 2 assists in 7 playoff games and that was it. In 2003-2004 Nolan contributed 48 points in 65 games and was not available for the playoffs. This was not the player the Leafs traded for.
Alyn McCauley finished out the 2003 with 10 points in 16 games. In 2003-2004 McCauley contributed 47 points in 82 games and a further 3 points in 11 playoff matches. On paper at least, the Sharks got pretty good value just by obtaining McCauley for Nolan.
Brad Boyes spent most of his time in the AHL prior to this season picking up 75 points in 80 games with the Providence Bruins last season. In March, 2004 The Bruins traded defenseman Jeff Jillson to Buffalo, which sent center Curtis Brown to San Jose, which sent forward Brad Boyes and defenseman Andy Delmore to Boston. This season the 23 year old has 38 points in 53 games with the Bruins and is now playing on the 1st line with Patrice Bergeron and Marco Sturm. Boyes certainly would look good now wearing the Blue and White of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The first round draft choice, 16th overall in 2003 was used by the San Jose Sharks to select 6'2" 233 lb power forward Steve Bernier. After four seasons of 30+ goals in the QMJHL with Moncton Wildcats, Bernier started this season with the Cleveland Barons of the AHL. This season Bernier picked up 42 points in 44 games with the Barons and in January, 2006 was promoted to the San Jose Sharks where he has now played 8 games and picked up 2 points. Shark fans are talking long term that Bernier could be the power forward that Nolan once was.
Sometimes the best trades are the trades that are not made.
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