NHL Trade Deadline: What Does Kris Versteeg Deal Mean for Toronto Maple Leafs?
On Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs shipped forward Kris Versteeg to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers sent a first round and a third round pick in the 2011 entry draft the other way.
Versteeg is headed to the team that he beat in the Stanley Cup Finals last season as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. His addition will likely be key to the Flyers' playoff run this year.
However, there is more to this deal than simply the Flyers' addition of Kris Versteeg.
This trade could be the swap that sets off a number of other moves.
For example: Brian Burke said during a press conference that the recently acquired third round pick is "in play," and has already been offered to another team. He even went as far as to say that the first round pick could be available as well.
He made it clear that the team will be looking to add a player, stating that they haven't given up on the final playoff spot.
The Leafs won't just be targeting any player. Burke also made sure the press knew he would be shooting for a player that met their age specifications.
In addition, he also confirmed he would be taking on salary if the deal involving the third round pick went through. He furthered his thoughts by reminding interviewers that the club could have taken on a player of around $6 million salary prior to this deal.
Will Tomas Kaberle be traded?
These picks could also be involved in a bigger, more complicated deal that could fetch a greater return.
Burke could be planning on combining one, or both, of their newly acquired selections with a player from the Leafs squad to take aim at a top-line center or winger.
There have been rumblings of Tomas Kaberle waiving his no-trade clause. One source from Twitter even stated that Kaberle will be moved in the next 24 to 72 hours.
While that statement might be a bit far-fetched, there could be some truth to it.
Kaberle's agent Rick Curran has asked Burke to keep complete secrecy on the topic, which raises some suspicion. Could Burke be in the works of a major deal involving Tomas Kaberle and a first round pick?
A combination as such could surely fetch the Toronto franchise a top-six center. However, for a deal like that to go through, one would have to ensure that Kaberle has, in fact, waived his no-trade clause.
Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere was rumored to be on the trade block, but with injuries to fellow netminders Jonas Gustavsson (heart surgery) and Jussi Rynnas (broken finger), a deal involving the veteran is highly unlikely.
The possible moves made by Brian Burke in the next 14 days have the potential to significantly effect the Leafs' chances at making the playoffs. Whether he trades picks, players, or both, one thing is for sure:
Brian Burke will be active on February 28.
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