Maple Leafs acquire O'Byrne from Avalanche for pick Staff

4/3/2013 5:16:16 PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired defenceman Ryan O'Byrne from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a 2014 fourth-round draft pick.

The 28-year-old O'Byrne has scored one goal and three assists in 34 games played with the Avalanche this season, posting a minus-eight rating.

"He's not going to come in here and take over the defensive corps. He's a defensive defenceman. We feel he can play with good players," general manager Dave Nonis said. "We have 12 games left and we wanted to make sure that we weren't in a position where we were short on defence. We were very comfortable with him as a player and as a person."

Originally drafted in the third round (79th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, O'Byrne has scored four goals and 33 assists in 300 career games with the Canadiens and Avalanche.

"I kind of had a feeling that something might happen but you're always surprised when you're dealt," O'Byrne said. "Toronto's a team that's right in the mix and I'm really excited to be joining them. From my days in Montreal I always enjoyed playing in Toronto and I'm looking forward to getting there."

O'Byrne is currently in the second year of a two-year, $3.6 million deal he signed prior to the 2011-12 season and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

He leaves the Avalanche ranked second on the team in hits with 76 so far this season.