RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired veteran defenseman Tim Gleason from the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday in exchange for defenseman John-Michael Liles.
The Hurricanes also received the rights to Brown University defenseman Dennis Robertson in the trade announced during the Maple Leafs' game against Detroit in the Winter Classic.
The 30-year-old Gleason was the Hurricanes' most physical forward and one of the longest-tenured players on the team. Only captain Eric Staal and 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goalie Cam Ward have been with the franchise longer.
The 33-year-old Liles had 15 hits and averaged 17 minutes of ice time in six games this season with the Maple Leafs. He was scratched from the Winter Classic.
"John Liles was an excellent person for us and an excellent player," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. "He backed what we were trying to do and he was one of our leaders and it was a hard thing to do. An unfortunate situation where we couldn't get him ice time. Young guys like Morgan Reilly pushed him out the door. It was an unfortunate situation."
Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford says Liles is a puck-mover who "can make a difference offensively" from the blue line.
The Hurricanes acquired Gleason in a trade with Los Angeles in September 2006, three months after they won their only Stanley Cup. He missed 21 games this season due to injury, including the first 10 with a concussion, and had one assist while playing at a minus-7 rating with 10 penalty minutes.