Leafs acquire Tim Gleason from Hurricanes

The Leafs are acquiring the services of defenceman Tim Gleason from the Hurricanes in exchange for...

The Leafs are acquiring the services of defenceman Tim Gleason from the Hurricanes in exchange for John-Michael Liles and prospect Dennis Robertson. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images/AFP/Files)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:03 PM ET

DETROIT - In the end, the Maple Leafs blueline featured a surplus of hustle and not enough muscle.

And it left John-Michael Liles packing his bags and leaving for Carolina, part of a deal on Wednesday that sent the veteran to Carolina for beefy defenceman Tim Gleason.

As general manager Dave Nonis is quick to point out, the Leafs have no shortage of puck-moving defencemen in Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly and, to some extend, Carl Gunnarsson, a recipe that left the out-of-favour Liles expendable.

What has been lacking on the Leafs' back end is sandpaper, the type of in-your-face grit that coach Randy Carlyle so desperately thirsts for. In Gleason -- a rugged hombre whose 591 penalty minutes in 616 career games translates to an average of almost one minute in the sin bin per outing -- Carlyle and Nonis feel they have addressed a need, especially with the struggles the usually ornery Mark Fraser has endured this season.


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