Fans are waiting for that big move that brings the Leafs a superstar. While that might not be what Burke is planning, it’s what Leaf fans want.
What if the Leafs were to acquire a superstar? It would definitely help their chances of making the playoffs. While they would have to give up some good talent off the current roster, you have to give up talent to get talent.
If they were to acquire any one of these players, it would be a great day in Leafs (recent) history.
To Toronto: Ryan Getzlaf
To Anaheim: Mikhail Grabovski, Nazem Kadri, Clarke MacArthur and Cody Franson
The Toronto Maple Leafs are in dire need of a true No. 1 center. Even though the Leafs are going to try James van Riemsdyk as the first-line center, the Leafs would be in a much better position when it comes to putting together lines.
Enter Ryan Getzlaf.
As one of the premier targets that usually gets brought up in trade speculation, Getzlaf would be a perfect fit between Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel. As Brian Burke used to be the general manager in Anaheim, there is a prior relationship that has resulted in many deals between the two teams.
A deal for Getzlaf would be the biggest deal between the two, however.
With both Getzlaf and Corey Perry set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, Anaheim might be in the position to choose which one it will retain. While Getzlaf is no slouch, it’s a fair guess that Perry will be kept.
If the Leafs were to put together a nice package, the deal could definitely get done. Also, if anyone thinks that the deal above is too little to acquire Getzlaf, just think of what the Columbus Blue Jackets got for Rick Nash.
To Toronto: Joe Pavelski
To San Jose: 2013 Second-Round Pick and Nikolai Kulemin
If San Jose ever decided to pull a deal to change the status quo, it probably would rather not move the 28-year-old versatile Joe Pavelski. The players they would like to deal, however, have untradeable contracts.
If the Leafs were to overspend just a little bit, they might be able to bring in a player that at best could be a great center for the first line or, at worst, a great winger on the second line.
To Toronto: Vincent Lecavalier
To Tampa Bay: Tim Connolly, Matthew Lombardi, Clarke MacArthur and a 2013 Second-Round Pick
To bring on the $7 million-plus cap hit of Vincent Lecavalier, it would require the Leafs to do some finagling with the cap. It would also depend on Lecavalier waiving his no-movement clause.
In terms of a return, the Leafs would have to have to send salary back, but it would have to be salary belonging to players who could provide some scoring depth to the Lightning.
Tim Connolly could be jettisoned at the end of the year, but Matthew Lombardi is the type of player that could play in Tampa Bay for quite some time. Clarke MacArthur also provides scoring depth, and the second-round pick gives the Lightning something they like to stockpile.
Lecavalier has become more of a two-way player, but his playmaking skills still merit mentioning. He would also provide the Leafs with a valuable veteran experience—experience that includes a Stanley Cup.