Burke's Plan, Or, for the First Time Damien Cox Is Onto Something

Mark MakuchCorrespondent IApril 18, 2009

MONTREAL - JANUARY 24:  Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke speaks with the media at the NHL Board of Governors Meeting during the 2009 NHL All-Star weekend on January 24, 2009 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

According to Damien Cox, the hyperbolic, sour grapes Leafs writer for the Toronto Star, Brian Burke has a plan.

In a recent article in the Star, Cox muses that there is reason behind Brian Burke's apparent madness in which he publicly made known his desire for future No. 1 pick John Tavares.

The scenario goes something roughly like this:

Step 1: Burke uses his deep pockets and cap space to "help" Tampa out of a stifling contract. Apparently, the money situation is so bad, they just laid off their team mascot.

Cox suggests Grabovski and the No. 7 pick for No. 2 and Malone and his troublesome contract. 

OK; that's a good start. How do you then get Garth Snow to give up No. 1?

That's where it gets interesting, and where Cox may actually be on to something.

By going public with his desire for Tavares, suddenly, the kid could make life miserable for Snow. Knowing how much Burke wants him, he could easily refuse to show up for the Islanders, a la Eric Lindros. Suddenly, Snow has a huge PR nightmare on his hands.

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Would Snow opt to flip picks with Burke, or even draft Hedman first, knowing Tavares might be a no-show?

Suddenly, Burke's overtly public musings look to be very craftily made after all. Knowing Burke's history, he'll give it, or something like it, a shot.

Even if he ends up with No.2, he'll show he still has the draft magic he used to draft Pronger and the Sedin twins.

Questions remain: How desperate is Tampa? How much does Tavares dislike the idea of playing for the Islanders?

Oh yeah, and that Damien Cox guy? Maybe a better journalist than I've given him credit for.

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