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The Tavares Lottery...Does Brian Burke Know Something We Don't?

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 29:   Brian Burke speaks to the media after being named President and General Manger of the Toronto Maple Leafs November 29, 2008 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Sean PaddisonCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2009

When observing Brian Burke's moves to get players in the upcoming 2009 draft, one is left with a feeling of suspicion. Why are the Leafs playing so well? They appear to have no chance at all of getting John Tavares. Unless...Brian has a plan, or knows something, or feels something that has made him lose all interest. So let's break down each of the three possibilities.

Scenario No. 1: Brian Burke DOES want Tavares and plans to trade away multiple picks just before the draft to move into prime position to get him. I think this really looks like a long shot as the risk element is way too high and if he failed to land Tavares, he'd end up looking pretty inept.

Scenario No. 2: Brian Burke DOES NOT WANT Tavares because he's not sold on all the hype. If this is the case, it would explain the Leafs better play of late. If Burke has lost considerable interest in Tavares or any of the top seven then it really doesn't matter how many points the Leafs have at the end of the season. If this is true then Burke also would probably want to use the end of the season games to gauge what is working and what isn't.

Scenario No. 3: Brian Burke KNOWS SOMETHING WE DON'T about talent lower in the draft. It is very possible Brian sees more long term value in multiple players further down the draft list that he wants to grab up. If he has a line on a future "Kaberle" player or players buried further down the list that really should be near the top then that would also explain the disinterest in the Leafs season ending point total.

All in all it doesn't appear as though Burke has any interest in Tavares so something must be causing that disenfranchisement.

Another question that just begs to be asked is, will Burke use another year to rebuild or look at how close his team got this year without even trying and using no-name players and decide to start trying to make the playoffs in the 09-10 season?

I think it would be incredibly wise to buy up some good grinding defensively solid players over the summer and then let them play as hard as they can for the first half of the season and see what they can do. A little playoff experience, even if it is only one or two rounds, never hurt any young club.

As far as goalies go, Burke has his work cut out for him there.

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