New Leaf Tim Gleason needs to just play his own game

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tim Gleason during a drill at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Jan....

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Tim Gleason during a drill at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Jan. 6, 2014. (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI Agency)

Lance Hornby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:44 AM ET

TORONTO - Randy Carlyle wasn’t around the last time the Maple Leafs debuted an American defenceman who wore No. 8 with great expectations.

That was Mike Komisarek on Oct. 1, 2009. Brian Burke’s trumpeted free agent roared out of the ACC dressing room like Godzilla, hitting recklessly and taking two penalties that led to Montreal power-play goals in a stinging defeat. Komisarek’s well meaning, but flawed effort to make a loud first impression took him far out of his comfort zone. He never did find it before finally getting bought out last season.

On Tuesday, Tim Gleason will be immersed enough to start against the New York Islanders, either to replace an injured Carl Gunnarsson or another healthy defenceman who’ll pay the price for Saturday’s 7-1 loss to the Rangers. At $4 million US a year, Gleason makes about the same money Komisarek did as a Leaf and he’ll be coming out the same tunnel with an identical number. But with one big exception.

 


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