Craig Custance of the Sporting News is reporting that not only has the agent for Jamal Mayers been given a green light to try and stir up interest in his client, but also that Garnet Exelby’s agent has been allowed to do the same.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ GM Brian Burke says that it isn’t about the team; Exelby just wants more playing time than he’s been getting in Toronto. Of the eight regulars on the Toronto blueline, none have been receiving less ice-time than Exelby, who was acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers over the summer.
There is one interesting coincidence to the fact that both Mayers and Exelby are likely on their way out of town. Leaving aside whatever other flaws they have in their games, both are physical players – one might even say truculent players – but more than that, both are undisciplined players. Among Leafs forwards, no player takes as many penalties (relative to ice-time) as Mayers – who astoundingly takes nearly five times as many penalties as he draws. On the back end, it’s a similar story with Exelby, who takes seven penalties for every penalty he draws.
Given the fact that both of these players would be near the bottom end of the roster on skill alone, constant trips to the penalty box are not a luxury either can afford. It’s also a luxury the Leafs, with their league-worst penalty kill (69.4%) can’t afford. Together, even with seriously limited ice-time, Mayers and Exelby have put the Leafs short-handed on 28 occasions – and with that penalty kill, that’s a number that translates into an extra nine goals against.