Rumours have been rampant over the past several weeks that Brian Burke is making a run at acquiring Ryan Getzlaf from the Anaheim Ducks. There have also been several reports that Getzlaf is not really available as Ducks GM Bob Murray has said they aren't in rebuilding mode.
However, for a team like the Ducks, who are highly unlikely to make the playoffs, holding onto a player like Getzlaf—who only has one year remaining on his deal after this year—may not make a whole lot of sense if they don't think they can re-sign him.
That being said, you have to believe that Getzlaf would be available, but that the price would be extremely high, and rightfully so, as 29 teams would surely line up to acquire the big, strong, experienced, cup-winning No. 1 center. Players like Getzlaf rarely become available, and Murray knows this.
That being said, what would the cost to acquire him be? Let's put ourselves in Murray's shotes for a moment. You would have to assume that any deal would start with Luke Schenn, and one of either Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne. I'd add in Mikhail Grabovski and Stuart Percy and a first-round pick.
As a Leafs fan, would you trade Schenn, Kadri, Grabovski, Percy and a first for Getzlaf? I would do it in a heartbeat, but I know a lot of you wouldn't. It would be well worth it and would leave the Leafs with a group of talented forwards in Getzlaf, Kessel and Lupul, along with talents like Joe Colborne, Nik Kulemin, Clark Macarthur, Tim Connolly, Matthew Lombardi, Tyler Bozak and Colby Armstrong to build toward a strong playoff run.
If you're Anaheim, this gives you a solid young defenceman in return, a high-end prospect like Kadri, a center who can fit into the lineup right away and one that you can very reasonably re-sign in the offseason, a nice young and skilled offensive defence prospect like Percy and a first-round pick. A nice haul for a player who may walk for nothing after next season.
For anyone who's ready to throw out a different offer, it's going to take something like that to get Getzlaf, so don't kid yourself by saying this is too much. Murray didn't get to this post because he's an idiot, and you shouldn't be one either.