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Ryan Getzlaf has been in the ears of Leafs faithful for months as the Kessel-Lupul duo has yet to find the right centre to make the team a Cup contender. The 6'4" 224 lb. centre is exactly what the two speedy wingers need to add some toughness to the lineup and cause some traffic in the crease.
Getzlaf and Burke have a relationship dating back to their Stanley Cup championship in Anaheim, and the Leafs' GM would love nothing better than to snatch up the Duck's captain.
In addition to Burke's ties with Getzlaf, he and Anaheim GM Bob Murray seem to be on good working terms. The Leafs recently sent minor league winger Luca Caputi to the Ducks in exchange for forward Nicolas Deschamps.
Getzlaf's contract isn't too steep and would only cost the Leafs $5.325 million a year through next season. An exchange for Nazem Kadri, Carl Gunnarsson and Tyler Bozak would keep the Leafs just under the salary cap and still leave them with enough depth to push for a playoff berth.
Although Murray may not want to give up his captain, he is in a predicament with Getzlaf's contract. The big centre would become an unrestricted free agent after next season, which would lower his trade value even by the next trade deadline. Teams don't want to give up a whole lot for a rent-a-player down the stretch.
The stars are aligned for Burke to make his move. And given his history it will be before the Feb. 27 at 3 p.m. deadline. What he will bring to a Toronto team on the bubble, nobody really knows. But any addition would be a good one.
The fate of this season lies within the negotiating power of Brian Burke. Hopefully Leafs Nation can trust him.