Burke Group Targets Bouwmeester, Beauchemin, and Pahlsson

Steve McSween@dansallowsSenior Analyst IDecember 14, 2008

If indeed Brian Burke hopes to build this Toronto Maple Leafs team from the net out, then one doesn't have to speculate very long on who or whom "the Big Bopper" will be looking at trying to land in the 2009 free agent pool.

The cream of the crop being Florida Panthers Jay Bouwmeester, who at 6'4" is like a large Scott Niedermayer.

Acquiring Bouwmeester in all likelihood would make Kaberle or Kubina expendable, though idealy I believe the Leafs' brass would be smart to keep Kaberle in the fold.

Don't put it past Burke to make a pitch on Ducks' defenseman Francois Beauchemin and forward Samuel Pahlsson as well.

Given his recent track record, Burke definitely likes to acquire players that have played for him in the past, and why not? He knows what they are capable of.

Both Pahlsson and Beauchemin are underrated players that can add  grit and offensive capabilities to the young Leafs.

If Burke believes that Vesa Toskala and Justin Pogge are the goaltenders that can win here, and there is no reason he wouldn't (after all he did go with Dan Cloutier for four years in Vancouver), then the moves on the blueline will come first.

The only other thing for Brian Burke and Dave Nonis to do then is to hopefully land Tavares or Hedman, and if all goes according to plan and the Leafs do acquire Bouwmeester and Beauchemin...well let's just say it's a no-brainer to whom they would select.