Toronto Maple Leafs: Can They Acquire This Year's 1st and 2nd Overall Selection?
For the record, I do not for a minute think this will happen; and further, if it did happen, I would question giving up so many assets to acquire the 1st- and 2nd-round selections.
However, the "buzz" is out there that this is indeed his intention, the rumour coming straight from Igor Larionov's mouth (from Sportsnet). Larionov happens to be the player agent for Yakupov and Galchenyuk.
So let's investigate a little further, to think it out.
To properly weigh the possibilities of assets that may be going the other way, I'm going to assume that we land Schultz and Luongo (to my chagrin).
As in 1999, when Burke did his magic landing the 2nd and 3rd round selection, he will need to know what players the GM's ahead of him want. He did just that in 1999.
It's not necessarily as closely vested as some may think. Burke has a very good relationship with Howson and Montreal's assistant, GM Rick Dudley. I'm not sure how he is with Garth Snow, but there's nothing to suggest that it's anything acrimonious. He may not even factor in other than to ensure the other two GMs that the player they want will be there.
Now Edmonton's Tambellini is another thing entirely; however, if I can remember correctly, Burke had beef with Lowe, not Tambs. I'll assume any childish sand kicking is over now, and the two teams can at least talk professionally.
A lot of things would need to also come into play—in Howson's case that would be Rick Nash. If he were to be traded and another first-round selection came to the Blue Jackets, they could start looking at building their club for next year using assets attained through trading their second-round selection.
So what if Burke finds out that Tambellini isn't completely sold on Yakupov? Say they would've been just as happy taking Murray or Reinhardt if the ball landed wrong for them. Say Howson wants a Trouba or Dumba or like-minded defenseman not of Russian nationality. Say Montreal wants Grigorenko or Forsberg. And say with Garth being so unpredictable, he wants Faksa or even Morgan Rielly.
This scenario opens the floor up to a guy like Burke.
He goes to Tambellini and presents his own fifth-round selection, offers up either Franson or Schenn (say they take Franson), Reimer or Scrivens (say they take Scrivens) and this year's second-round pick. He also offers to take back a bad contract (Shawn Horcoff?)
Tambellini would surly be able to get either Murray or Reinhardt at the fifth spot. Burke, after all, knows the other four GMs' intentions.
To Howson, Burke could then offer next year's first-round selection, Schenn or Gunnarsson, Reimer and perhaps a player on the roster (say Kulemin). Nash would very conceivably land the Blue Jackets a first-round pick (and players/prospects) from any number of teams drafting in the 10th to 20th spot. Say it's Washington's 11th. They use that for Trouba if he's there.
All in all, it would indeed be a magical night for Brian.
However the assets loss would be considerable:
Schenn, Franson, Reimer, Scrivens, Kulemin, this year's fifth overall, this year's 35th overall and next year's first-round selection
Possibly more (say Kadri).
Could it happen? Sure. It's also possible that scientists could genetically modify pigs to be born with wings. Not sure how the bacon would taste, but it's intriguing!
It's a snowball's chance in hell, and in this day and age with the salary cap, it's all the more important that teams draft well and develop internally.
Somethings the Leafs should do more of.
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