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Trade: Leafs acquire Gleason for Liles (Updated)

Jan 1, 2014, 1:37 PM EDT

Tim Gleason Getty Images

The oft-rumored Tim Gleason trade is complete.

Gleason is on his way from Carolina to Toronto, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. In exchange, the Leafs will send defenseman John-Michael Liles and defenseman Dennis Robertson, the Leafs’ sixth-round pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Gleason, 30, has spent the last eight years with the ‘Canes after breaking into the NHL with Los Angeles. He represented the U.S. at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, capturing a silver medal.

This has been a difficult season for Gleason, though, as he’s appeared in just 17 games and is averaging less than 16 minutes a night. He has no goals, just one assist and a minus-7 rating.

Gleason is in the second of a four-year, $16 million deal.

Liles, 33, is also in the second year of his deal — a four-year, $15.5 contract. He’s been largely out of the mix for Toronto this season — really, ever since Randy Carlyle took over as head coach — and has played just six NHL games this season, spending most of his time with the AHL Marlies.

Toronto is believed to be the first team to trade a player while participating in the Winter Classic. Liles is at the Big House but a healthy scratch for today’s game.

Update: The ‘Canes have made the trade official, with the following statement from GM Jim Rutherford…

“John-Michael is a puck-moving defenseman who has demonstrated in his career that he can make a difference offensively from the blue line.

“Tim has been a valuable player and leader for the Hurricanes for a long time. We thank him for the contributions he has made to the team and the community and wish him all the best as his career continues.”

  1. lowenni - Jan 1, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Hmm. The trade makes sense, swap a struggling player for a struggling player, but I think Gleason is a better player at this point in his career then Liles’ and is more likely to get back on track than Liles as well. If I was Rutherford I would’ve tried to get maybe a fourth round pick out of Toronto as well, not some random minor leaguer.

    • hockey412 - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      I agree, especially considering Liles cleared waivers earlier this year and Carolina has the cap room to bring him on if they wanted him. Seems like they might have gotten more.

    • storminator16 - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      We’ll see. I think Leafs fans are in for a big disappointment as Gleason has been regressing the past three seasons. This season is just the culmination of that regression. Canes just need Liles to do 2 things consistently to make this trade unfair if Gleason continues to be Gleason: improve the PP and make the long stretch pass when needed. For me, that goes a long way.

  2. esracerx46 - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Kind of a lateral move for both teams.

  3. sjsharks66 - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    They couldn’t wait one day to make this final? The guy is at the classic ready to go play and couldn’t. What a slap in the face.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      He wasn’t going to play regardless.

  4. blackheart78 - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    No disrespect to either player(s) but this is one of those “my junk for your garbage” trades.

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    Nice of them to at least let Liles take the practice today. I’m surprised he wasn’t moved sooner, it’s been clear for a while that he wasn’t part of their plan and you’d think a bunch of teams would take a flyer on a puck-moving defenseman.

  6. grocks13 - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Can we trade Jim Rutherford? I don’t understand his fascination with finding his elusive puck moving defencemen.

    • esracerx46 - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      Tough to trade a part owner of the team. I’ve said it for a while he is another one of those over rated GM’s that needs to go. Perhaps give him a promotion so he’s not making hockey decisions.

  7. bucklecs - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    This is a joke, Liles is about to play in one of the most enjoyable atmospheres and games all year and these pricks with both team offices pull such a stunt. They should both be ashamed of themselves this is hockey and these guys deserve more respect than that. If these GM’s want to pull this kind of crap they should look for a job in the NFL or NBA neither one of them deserves the respect of their players. Carlyle you should also feel ashamed, you don’t suit a guy up and then allow him to be traded after warm-ups in a game like this, you’re a fool and I hope you get treated the exact same way when you’re fired!

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      Thanks for deciding to like hockey today. Why don’t you sit back and let educated fans comment on here.

  8. csilojohnson - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    Reel it in man. He was a scratch for game. Has only played six games this season. All in article.
    He should be happy he got to skate in warm ups. If not for trade he probably would be on the bus playing AHL hockey. Not at the Winter Classic at all.

  9. rushledger - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Liles was gonna be a scratch anyways, he’s play six games since Carlyle took over highly doubt he’d get to play today anyways.

  10. bucklecs - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    It’s something called Principle and Respect, it isn’t about how many games he has or hasn’t played for the Leafs or even if he belongs in the AHL. Let the guy enjoy the day that’s what the whole hype and buildup to this day is all about. Even if he’s only going to watching you don’t do that to a player. Hockey has enough politics and it’s big business but delaying an insignificant trade like this that is definitely not time sensitive, could have easily waited a day. You don’t have to be a genius to make the right decision here.

    • 19to77 - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      The man makes nearly four million dollars a year and half the time he’s sitting on his ass, not even playing in the AHL but simply watching from the Leafs’ press box. I’m pretty sure the poor disrespected victim can handle being traded in light of the giant pile of money he gets for literally just WATCHING HOCKEY GAMES.

  11. garybrian - Jan 1, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    So now that they have Gleason, who sits?

    • j22j - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      IMO: Phaneuf/Gunnerson
      Ranger in the Pressbox

  12. jkaflagg - Jan 1, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Has Gleason regressed that dramatically ? This seems like a steal for the Leafs…..

  13. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 1, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    IMO, it’s a no-brainer, the Leafs win this deal. Liles is supposed to be a quick, offensively driven defender from the blueline… unfortunately he hasn’t shown those skills in years. Gleason, meanwhile, is still a big body who can punish opposing players around the crease. No idea what the Canes were thinking with this one.

    • storminator16 - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      “who can punish opposing players around the crease. No idea what the Canes were thinking with this one”

      Can and do are two different things. Gleason got too comfortable being a Cane. Maybe he starts getting in guys faces again, maybe not. We’ll see. With that said, do you guys scratch Ranger or Gleason. Yes, that is a very valid question.

  14. nhstateline - Jan 2, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    players get traded, it’s part of the business. Carolina has a game today and probably want to see if they can get the player they acquired’s work permit and immigration stuff done today if necessary (this can take some time). Thus, Carolina wanted to get the ball rolling on that. Plus, we a trade’s done it’s done and there’s no reason to sit on it. We saw Mike Cammaleri get traded off the Habs bench to Calgary a couple of years ago during a game at the Garden. When a deal’s done its, done and there’s no reason to sit on it. This deal makes the Leafs better no question about it.

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