The Leafs have recently been linked to Adam McQuaid of the New York Rangers as a trade target and it has the fan base split….. not evenly, it seems that most are questioning the reasoning behind it, but split nonetheless.
McQuaid is a big defender that doesn’t mind the rough stuff. He can fight with just about anybody in the league and hold his own. He’ll lead your team in hits, doesn’t mind blocking shots, and from all accounts is a solid guy in the dressing room.
He’s Matt Martin in the version of a right shot defender, basically.
One place where he might be used a little more than Martin was is on special teams. He’s played over 2 minutes a game short handed for the Rangers this season, even if they only have a 77.7% success rate while down a man, good for 25th in the NHL, it’s still something.
He played over 2 minutes a game shorthanded during his last 3 seasons with the Bruins as well, and they were good while down a body. This means he has some experience playing for a successful unit, even if that has more to do with the fact that the Bruins employ a samsquanch on skates to help keep the puck out of the net, it’s still worth noting I guess.
The biggest question on most lips right now is where does he fit, and who does he take out of the lineup? None of the players currently playing the right side, and that includes Nikita Zaitsev, are worse than McQuaid. He brings a different element for sure, but when the chips are down he’s a poorer defender overall.
If he’s simply an injury replacement then I think they can do better. I’d argue that Igor Ozhiganov has earned the chance to keep the role of 7th defender at the very least, but if they aren’t content with that then there has to be an upgrade out there worth going for, doesn’t there?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally against McQuaid as a depth defender, and I think he could be a useful deterrent if things get trying in a rough playoff series. I also think that you dance with the girl you brought, and the guys that he’d replace all deserve to suit up unless it’s a clear and major upgrade taking their spot.
Only a few days left before we find out.
There are good fights!!
And then there are bad ones!!