Burke’s Secret Weapon: Goaltenders
How exactly is Burke going to get those forwards? The answer lies in the very back-end: Goaltending. Because a decent, young goalie is a rare commodity in the NHL, Burke has the advantage of swapping one of his goal keepers for a forward. In the net Leafs have Giguere, Gustavsson, Rynnas, Scrivens, and Reimer. Burke will continue to monitor the free-agent pool for young talented goaltenders.
Besides Giguere and Gustavsson “the Monster”, I can see Burke trading any of the other goaltenders mid-way through the season if the Leafs are out of playoff position – especially James Reimer. Why Reimer? Because trading Scrivens or Rynnas may hurt Burke’s business integrity. Reimer, on the other hand, was Leaf’s own draft pick - just like Justin Pogge. Rynnas and Scrivens both signed with the Leafs after the Pogge-trade.
The best time to trade a prospect goalie is around midway through the season; at that point NHL top-six forwards will still be available. Near the trade-deadline however, Burke will look no further than J.S. Giguere to make a splash. With playoff picture becoming clearer, playoff-bound teams will be buyers looking to upgrade. Teams like Philadelphia who has unstable goaltending problems will be interested in veteran goaltenders; this is when Burke bids farewell to his faithful J.S. Giguere. Giguere at trade-line should fetch a decent prospect and/or a high draft pick.