Toronto Maple Leafs: Don't Get Too Excited
A couple of weeks ago, Brian Burke announced that he was going to try to move up in the draft and go for Tavares.
Before I go on, let me make it clear that the word "try" is present. "Try" means he will attempt, but there is no guarantee it will happen. It seems that everyone's already saying "Burke said he's going to go for Tavares! Tavares is coming to Toronto!"
Unfortunately, Brian Burke is not God (apologies to those who think otherwise). He cannot make a trade happen out of thin air. Sure he can propose a great deal, but if the team doesn't accept, it doesn't happen.
There was actually a rumour flying around that the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to make a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning which would include sending Kaberle, Schenn, and their first rounder for Ryan Malone and a first rounder. However, Burke doesn't seem ready to give up Schenn just yet, and he still wants to look at other possibilities.
A while back, it seemed like Brian Burke was basically saying he was willing to package Luke Schenn in a deal to get the Isles' or the Lightning's first round pick this year. However, all he has said was the Luke Schenn was the closest player to being untouchable.
What does untouchable mean?
It means that he will not be traded no matter what. If a player is untouchable, it means he is a great asset to the team and the team seems to rotate around him. He is worth too much to the team to be traded.
Brian Burke doesn't seem to think of Luke Schenn that way.
But just because a player isn't untouchable doesn't mean he's up for grabs. Burke definatly values Schenn and sees him as a great player to build around which probably means he will try his best to keep him in Toronto.
So, who exactly is available other than Schenn? Well, a couple of months ago Cliff Fletcher said Nik Antropov was the only top six forward on the team, but he's gone now. So is a team of third and fourth liners all we have? Of coure not, there are guys like Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin that still have bright futures ahead. Even Ponikarovsky has stepped up and shown what he can do.
If Burke wants to make a good deal, he'll have to throw in Luke Schenn because we all honestly know that Burke does not want to start giving away draft picks, and there is no way that a team is going to accept a trade just involving current Leafs. Of course, we have our first round pick this year that Burke seems to not mind giving up, but once again, he'll only give it up if it means Tavares.
Right now everyone's thinking Burke is going to pull off something big, but he probably won't. Remember the trade deadline? Everyone thought that he was going to end up bringing in prospects and draft picks, when all he really brought in was acouple of second rounders. Of course, not all of us thought he would be very active at the trade deadline, but the majority did (you know who you are).
So in my opinion, the draft is going to be a big disappointment for those thinking that Burke is going to land Tavares. Maybe if the Leafs still had Mats Sundin, they could pull something off without having to give up Schenn, but for now, Burke is probably going to play it safe, and keep Schenn.
Stay tuned for an interview with Ryan Ellis.
Andrew Echevarria is a writer for tosports.ca and bleacherreport.com You can contact him through his profile or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out more of his writing in his archives.
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