Source: Toronto Sun
When Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle gets his first glimpse of new forward James van Riemsdyk, he'll finally receive the better-late-than-never house warming gift he missed out on last March.
After little more than a month on the job as Ron Wilson's replacement and having to watch undersized forwards being pushed around or treating the opposing net as a no-fly zone, Carlyle will look up and see the 6-foot-2, 211-pound big body that has been so lacking in the Leafs lineup.
And that, at least, is a start at building the type of team he and his boss favour.
Beyond the four missed playoff seasons, punctuated by the stunning collapse in the most recent edition, one of the most shocking shortcomings in general manager Brian Burke's tenure here has been his inability to bring in the signature forwards that so define his hockey philosophy.
Until he proves he isn't damaged goods, James van Riemsdyk is not yet a potential saviour for a team that needs so much. But at last, Burke finally has his big man up front.
The cost was reasonable, too: A once highly regarded defenceman in Luke Schenn who seemed to have lost his way in Toronto, particularly under Carlyle, for a forward with considerable untapped potential. With top-six minutes and a decent centre (maybe some day ...) it certainly wouldn't be a stretch to see van Riemsdyk as a 30-goal scorer.
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