Whenever someone mentions the possibility of Brian Burke pulling a deal with the Bruins to re-acquire the No. 2 pick in this years draft, I usually pass it off as psychosis. Chiarelli received more than he ever could have expected for Phil Kessel when the Leafs fell to second last place in the regular season. Now he’ll have the chance to draft an amazing talent in Tyler Seguin if the Oilers brass are foolish enough to take Taylor Hall first overall, which they are.
Though I don’t think Chiarelli will part with his enormous pick and send it back to Toronto, by drafting Seguin the Bruins could put themselves in an odd position.
Right now the Bruins have Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci… all centers. Waiting in the wings they have a prospect by the name of Joe Colborne, a 6’5” mammoth of a pivot who will surely be a great NHL’er in a couple of years. Colborne was taken with Boston’s first round (16th overall) pick in the 2008 draft and has since been playing for the University of Denver and developing his game. This year Colborne has racked up 41 points in 39 games and remains Boston’s top prospect. That’s all going to change this summer.
After the Bruins draft Seguin in June, their depth chart at center looks like this; Savard, Bergeron, Krejci, Seguin, Colborne; five top two centers. For a team with (arguably) one top two center in Tyler Bozak, the Leafs surely must have the Bruins on speed dial for when (or if) Edmonton goes ahead and passes on Seguin to take a winger in Hall.
The Bruins will likely have the Leafs on their radar as well, since they’ve been in on Kaberle from the beginning.
Trades within the division are something that many fans look down upon, myself included. The only reason for this being that with six match-ups per season, it’s easy to get burned by something you’ve done in the past. But I don’t think this will stand in the way of the B’s and Buds locking up for another trade in the future. Buffalo could be in on Kaberle as well, but they really have little to offer.
It’s expected that Burke will look West to deal Kaberle, which he very well might do. But if he’s to stay in the East, Peter Chiarelli and his cupboard full of centers will surely be a front-runner to get something done.
There’s a lot of buzz right now surrounding Joe Pavelski and Bobby Ryan as future Leafs, but lets be realistic; Doug Wilson isn’t going to let a blooming player like Pavelski go when he’s already looking at Patrick Marleau leaving for free agency. Wilson is a smart GM and doesn’t just send great players out the door. Especially those who are only 25 years of age and finally giving the Sharks some playoff success.
The Ducks, on the other hand, may have a heavy price tag coming for restricted free agent Bobby Ryan. But even if they can’t pay him, there’s 28 other offers out there to rival what Burke can put together. For the Leafs, a team with little assets, Burke’s maneuvering will again have to border on genius. It’s doubtful that Ryan ever suits up for the Leafs.
If the Maple Leafs are going to acquire a premiere center, it will likely come from Boston or their second-round opponent; Philadelphia. If there’s another team out there that’s deep with talent up front, it’s the Flyers. They’re jammed with centers, and I suspect Claude Giroux will be their go-to guy going forward. That means the Leafs could again re-visit a Jeff Carter trade scenario. Though it’s unlikely, it shouldn’t be ruled out.
The Flyers aren’t as hot on Tomas Kaberle as Chiarelli and the Bruins. The B’s are drooling over the prospect of pairing Zdeno Chara with Kabby on the power play, and so they should.
It’s easy to think that Burke would never re-visit the Bruins after taking so much heat over the Phil Kessel trade. However, it’s his job to take the best offer out there, and there’s a great chance it’s coming from Bean-town.