It's up to new Maple Leaf Ryan O’Byrne to make impression

The Maple Leafs acquired defenceman Ryan O'Byrne from the Avalanche before the NHL trade deadline....

The Maple Leafs acquired defenceman Ryan O'Byrne from the Avalanche before the NHL trade deadline. (THEARON W. HENDERSON/Getty Images/AFP)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:45 PM ET

TORONTO - The Maple Leafs finally can take their 2013 team picture, now that they’ve added another tall kid to the back row.

Ryan O’Byrne, who once played for the arch-rival Montreal Canadiens, fits the team’s rock-em, sock-em style, but just because he’s a Randy Carlyle type player, it doesn’t automatically mean he’ll play for Carlyle right away.

“He’ll be one of eight defencemen,” said general manager Dave Nonis, who parted with a 2014 fourth-rounder to get the 6-foot-5, 234 pounder from the Avalanche. “He’s a depth player. We felt we needed that.”

Nonis said where the 28-year-old fits in is up to the coaches, but there should be a place for him, especially with clubs such as Thursday’s opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers, always carrying big forwards. Lack of reserve stay-at-home defencemen (Korbinian Holzer and Mike Komisarek) prompted the trade as the Leafs eye a potential playoff berth. Offensive-minded Jake Gardiner was the healthy scratch on the blue line before the Leafs took a four-day schedule break, but Mike Kostka might have the hardest time getting back in if O’Byrne makes an impression in coming days.


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