Brian Burke knows what he wants.

Getting it could prove to be another headache for the Maple Leafs general manager, who has had more than his fair share in the 21/2 years he has been attempting to re-make the Toronto roster. If Burke has taken care of his No. 1 priority by the time training camp opens in September, it means he will have either signed or traded for an established top-line centre who won’t wilt as the regular season intensifies in the final few months. “Our top priority is a centre, no question about it,” Burke said on Tuesday. “I have to wait and see what there is on July 1. Maybe we have to do it through a trade. We intend to be active on July 1, but we may not get our wish list on July 1.” The first of July is the day that magical franchise-changers, thanks to free agency, are supposed to fall out of the sky. But if Burke’s hunch is that he will have to acquire a first-line centre through a trade, then he probably is right. Brad Richards will be the plum player available, but he has talked about re-signing with the Dallas Stars while others think he could be bound for Broadway and the New York Rangers. Other centres who are headed for free agency include Tim Connolly, Jason Arnott and Michal Handzus. None are cornerstone material. With little else after Richards available on the open market, Burke could find himself in a bit of a jam. He acknowledged he has “plenty” of salary cap space, but probably can’t spend it on the Leafs’ biggest need. A defenceman is not as high a priority, and as far as signing a veteran backup goaltender, Burke is not sure about that either. There’s little sense in going out and signing depth players, because the Leafs have plenty. Burke acknowledged that the strong play of Tim Brent, Darryl Boyce and Joey Crabb will make off-season decisions more difficult.

106 Responses to Brian Burke knows what he wants.

  1. LeafFansAreGay says:

    The Bruins are coming back in this series. Those 2 games were a fluke. Terrible calls and bad bounces. If Chara played, game 2 was ours for sure. When Chara comes back the Bruins will be a new team and the hab-nots will suck again like the laffs. Don't get excited.

  2. LeafFansAreGay says:

    The Bruins just didn't take the hab nots serious. Terrible job by the referees doesn't help and the Bruins just need to find their legs. Chara is a beast and will take over the series. Price is just lucky, nothing special.

  3. LeafFansAreGay says:

    Why not Toronto? The laffs need more competition to keep them from being more garbage. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  4. Boston_Bruins says:

    No idea. We don't have a good playoff reputation but this is something else entirely. Habs have played well, but the Bruins play has been nothing short of terrible. Still time left, but with the series shifting to Montreal it doesn't look good.

  5. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    I heard Chara's dehydration came from a sunburn he got on the golf course the day before…apparently he was sharpening up his game for this week.

  6. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    It was hip surgery and they weren't even sure if he would ever play again. He may pull a Gary Roberts, but I doubt it. I give him credit for his determination. I'm not convinced he is going to get much better.
    I also do not like the odds of him staying under control in Toronto where everyone would know who he is no matter where he goes. It's easy for him to stay under the radar in Anaheim where he is not really a celebrity…Toronto would be the ultimate atmosphere for an egomaniac. Avery held it together for a while in New York as well, not that I am saying Emery is as bad as Avery…weird how their last names almost sound the same

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