So I'm having a quiet ale in a nearby pub today and low and behold, a heated discussion breaks out about Brian Burke's next move. We all know the Leafs have a few too many tradeable defensemen at the moment, and a dire need for a sniper.
So I'd like to share the highlights of that discussion, as I believe you, like I, enjoyed the passionate speculation, while of course wondering which of these players will be hoisting the Cup above their heads next June...
Jeff Finger is signed for three more seasons at $3.5 million per. Though he's tough, and Burke likes 'em tough, and hails from the Western conference, he could easily be packaged for a forward, along with decent prospect Anton Stralman, if need be, in exchange for Carolina's Scott Walker.
Well, if that wasn't food for thought, how about this: Mike Van Ryn, who I like, gets nearly $3 million - yet we have to admit, and although his heart was in the right place, didn't exactly meet up to community standards at the end of the day - in exchange for Cody Hodgson, if Burkie also threw in Ian White.
It didn't stop there. Ten games into the season, and if Vesa Toskala is doing well, then trade him - and let 'The Monster' take a run backstopping an underdog's run to the Cup next spring. If Toskala performs lousily, then he becomes a backup anyway.
But the best for the last? Tomas Kaberle for Jordan Staal. I don't know about you, but I went positively giddy over that one. Staal, who'd deliver quite a few goals for the Leafs, is stalled on the Pens' third line and Gonchar will be gone in a few years, and we know about Kaberle's skills.
That's all folks. But, as you can imagine, it was a great discussion and it's only July.