According to Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs have given permission to Jamal Mayers’s agent, Pat Brisson, to speak to other teams in the hopes of creating a trade.
It’s the beginning of the end for Mayers in Toronto, whose decision (under previous G.M. Cliff Fletcher) to acquire the veteran was questionable to begin with; the last few years he has struggled like a rookie, but without even the hope of improvement. He brings a physical element to the table, but aside from the vaunted “veteran leadership” that’s pretty much it. I’d be surprised if the Leafs can engineer a trade here, and I’d be even more surprised if Mayers is still in the NHL next year.
Meanwhile, Georges Laraque, who has taken some surprisingly bad press of late, is likely bound for Sweden as per the Montreal Gazette. According to the report, the Canadiens would still pay Laraque but his salary would no longer count against the salary cap if he were loaned to the Elitserien. Laraque played in the Elitserien during the NHL lockout.
It’s an unfortunate end for both players, who both have the reputation of being character guys and neither of whom had an especially easy road to the NHL. Particularly unfortunate is the fact that when players like these leave, they’re generally not celebrated by the fans for their careers, but rather for their absence from whichever team they last played for.