In doing so, the team begins its regular season at the Air Canada Centre Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens with no enforcers on the roster.
The Leafs led the league in fighting majors over the past two seasons. But it appears Toronto is ready move in a different direction under new president Brendan Shanahan.
It’s worth noting that both players can still return if they clear waivers.
The moves drew passionate talk among CBCSports.ca readers, with many liking the idea of moving forward with no enforcers.
Reader Innis_mor wrote: “Well, well. Carlyle finally figured it out (or else, Shanahan figured it our for him). Little room in the new high-speed NHL for lunkheads who can't skate, shoot or pass to be sitting on the bench playing 4 minutes a game and sitting in the box for another 7. It's not going to turn around the Leafs in one season, but its a start. The right start. “
Novaboing agreed: “Leagues evolve. The NFL no longer uses high picks on running backs. The gap between the elite and the average RB is negligible. The same thing with the NHL. If you can score and fight? Bonus! But if you can just fight and NOT score?? Baggage! This is Shanahan's first thumb-print on this team. A concept Burke, Wilson, Nonis, and Carlyle just couldn't grasp. A step in the right direction.”
Of course, not all fans were in favour of cutting Colton Orr and McLaren.
“The stupidity of the move will be obvious within 10 games,” wrote Gord Lawson. “The old leafs, and I mean old had a motto. "If you can't beat them in the ally, you can't beat them on the ice." Those teams won cups.”
Leaf fans certainly got a charge when Orr dropped Buffalo Sabres giant John Scott last season.