Everybody knows that eventually this season, Brian Burke will make his mark on this team. Until he starts making moves, all we can do is speculate as to whom he will trade, and whom he will try to pursue.
So when he eventually does try to make his move, these are the players who I think he will try to go after, and what he will give up.
Jay Bouwmeester—Exactly what Burke likes in a defenseman. He is big, he can move the puck, he can skate, and most importantly, he can hit. He has all the tools to lead a defense, and I can see him gelling much better with Schenn then Kaberle. Can't you?
What the trade will be: Most likely, the trade for Bouwmeester will be Kaberle, and sadly, a third round draft pick. But we will be getting much more in return.
Samuel Pahlsson—I believe this trade will happen and for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Pahlsson is a solid face-off man that is good both on the penalty kill, and on a fourth line basis. Secondly, if he trades for Pahlsson, it will somewhat get the reporters off his back about him hating Europeans, but mostly the first part.
What the trade will be: I could see this trade being a straight up trade of Samuel Pahlsson for Alexei Ponikarovsky. Maybe a fifth round draft pick coming from Anaheim as well.
Sean Avery—I know I might get a lot of heat for this one, but lets think about it. Burke likes one or two antagonizers on every team he has. Vancouver had Ruutu, Anaheim had Moen and May. Toronto has, no one. Avery is obviously available and I could see one salary dump for another coming.
What the trade will be: Toronto will trade Jason Blake for Sean Avery and a conditional draft pick. The condition being that Avery doesn't say anything stupid for the rest of the year.
Rob Schremp—This is my out of left field pick. The Leafs are looking for a first line center and barring where the team is, I think if they aren't close enough to being a last place team, then Burke will go this route.
He has first line potential and is a solid contributor everywhere on the ice. Plus Edmonton has a lot of young centers and could use a winger.
What the trade will be: If Edmonton is in the playoff race, then they will be looking for both depth and size. Antropov has size and Ponikarovsky brings depth. The trade would be Antropov and Ponikarovsky with a second round pick for Rob Schremp.
So there you have it. I think that at least two of these trades will happen. I also think that Stralman will be traded for a prospect, but have no clue who it might be. The Leafs will probably also trade for just draft picks, but all barring on who they trade for players.