With the 2009 NHL Entry Draft just a few short days away, I thought I'd join the countless others who have put their ideas for the Leafs forward.
Remember—this is just my ideas, not predictions.
First, I'd trade Pavel Kubina and either Anton Stralman or Jerome Flaake to the Islanders for the 26th pick in the draft. New York would get Stralman if they picked Tavares or Flaake if they pick Hedman.
Next I would take that 26th pick and trade it along with goaltending prospect Justin Pogge to the Flyers for the 21st pick.
After that I would trade Thomas Kaberle, Nikolai Kulemin, and a third round pick (68) to Los Angeles for the fifth pick in this draft.
LA, which has more than enough prospects, is looking for a veteran presence on the blueline to help mentor their young defensemen. They will also still want some type of prospect and Kulemin has turned into a pretty decent one in the last couple of years.
I'd then flip picks with Ottawa (seventh for ninth), giving them the chance to leap-frog Dallas in the draft order. With both Ottawa and Dallas looking for an offensive defenseman, Ottawa would get first pick between Dimitry Kulikov and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Toronto would gain something like a second round pick for their help. This is very reasonable, as Toronto gave up second and third round picks to flip picks with New York and move up two spots and select Luke Schenn last year.
Of course, Schenn was the last of the big four defensemen in that draft, so a single second round pick from Ottawa is a fair trade.
With these first round picks I would take Brayden Schenn (fifth), Nazem Kadri (ninth), and either Scott Glennie, Stefan Elliott, or David Rundblad (21st).
To sum up, Toronto gains:
Brayden Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Scott Glennie/Stefan Elliott/David Rundblad, a second round pick (39th), and approximately $11,500,000 freed-up in salary cap money.
The Leafs lose:
Pavel Kubina, Anton Stralman/Jerome Flaake, Justin Pogge, Thomas Kaberle, Nikolai Kulemin, and a third round pick (68th).
Remember, these are not predictions—just one man's dreams.
But hopefully, Burkie has something like this up his sleeve.