Burke asks Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin to 'retire'

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs do not have a first- or second-round pick at next month’s NHL draft, but that has not stopped the team from trying to land top-ranked prospects Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin .

In a move that seems to have been orchestrated by the calculating mind of general manager Brian Burke, the Leafs asked both players at this week’s draft combine if they would consider holding a news conference to announce their retirement. That way, Seguin and Hall might still be available when Toronto picks 62nd overall, near the top of the third round.

It sounds like a smart strategy. The only problem is getting Seguin and Hall, who are both hoping to be picked first overall, to swallow their pride and go in the third round.

“I told them I couldn’t do it,” said Hall, who is the No. 2-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.

“Nah,” said No. 1-ranked Seguin.

The Leafs, who had the second-worst record this season, were once in line to have at least one of the players. But Burke traded this year’s first- and second-round picks — along with their first-round choice in 2011 — to the Boston Bruins for Phil Kessel . So Toronto will have to wait 61 turns before stepping up to the podium to select a player.

“I’m really happy with the trade,” said Dave Morrison, the Leafs director of scouting. “He’s a hell of a player and it made us a better team. The most important thing is the big team. We want to make the playoffs.”

Still, do not be surprised if Toronto, which has six picks overall, manages to move up in line on June 25.

When Burke was the GM of the Vancouver Canucks, he pulled off a series of complicated trades in order to select twin brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin second and third overall. Last year, he aggressively tried to move up from seventh overall to No. 1 in an attempt to select John Tavares . It did not work out.

But with Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle expected to be on the trade market, many believe Toronto should at least be able to recoup a first-round pick.

“Historically with Brian, you do have to be prepared for anything,” Morrison said. “He’s an aggressive guy that way. He’s proven it in the past. So we’re going to be prepared for any kind of scenario.”


49 Responses to Burke asks Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin to 'retire'

  1. Kramer says:

    The Leafs gotta bribe Hall or Seguin. Just slip them an envelop full of $100 bills and watch them "retire".

    The Leafs are trying to run a legit operation, but that's no way to do business. That stuff only works in textbooks in business school.

    If you wanna win, you gotta bend the rules. We live in a world of conspiracies. ie, politicians, mafia, aliens, secret societies, etc…

    There are conspiracies everywhere. Just look at baseball. They started cracking down on steroids. Now look at this year's stats.  The AL home run leader had just 15 home runs almost into June 1st. The NL home run leader had only 12 home runs.

    Just a few years ago, Barry Bonds was intoxicated with mule steroids and hit 73 home runs. Raphael Palmero was hitting like Babe Ruth. The steroid conspiracy is now over, and other conspiracies start up.

  2. leafmeister says:

    Worth a shot I guess……

  3. hockeylegend488 says:

    burke is just showing again his un professional demener, . He likes to have his name mentioned in every hockey scenerio. Funny at first but gets annoying to waste time reading. If putting an offer sheet on a restricted guy ( whcih teams expect ) is dirty in his mind what is that. They should try and get there picks back from the bruins. I like this trade for them

    to toronto
    cam ward,
    canes first round pick,
    2nd round pick

    to canes
    top 6 guy

  4. Boston_Bruins says:

    Obviously a joke but it was a pretty bad and inappropriate one. How is this not tampering, even if it was a joke? And why was Toronto interviewing them anyways?

  5. leafmeister says:

    They arent under contract. Im pretty sure tampering only applies if the players are under contract. Toronto can schedule an interview with them, it probably wont mean anything, but it still can be arranged.

  6. Boston_Bruins says:

    It's still pretty low if it isn't tampering. And I know anyone can schedule an interview but I heard only 9 teams interviewed Hall and 10 interviewed Seguin. For a GM that doesn't have any picks in the first two rounds it looks like all he's trying to do is get his name out there… again.

  7. leafmeister says:

    Who knows, maybe he has a deal in place with CLB that involves flipping Kaberle into their 1st, which isnt too far off from Hall/Seguin.

    I dont think it is low. He is trying to make his team better, and if one of them desperately wanted to play for the Leafs, then they could opt out of the draft and come here. Unlikely, but if they REALLY wanted to play here, than it could be an option.

  8. cam7777 says:

    Burke will always be talking to the league's high-end talent at these drafts.  It's just good business.  The question was more to test the character of the players than anything else.  Had either of them been down, Burke probably would have lost interest.  At the same time, you're right, he's getting his name out there.  Is Burke going to try and swing for the first overall?  Last year he learned not to give your hand away, and this year he's obscuring his plan.

  9. TmLeafan says:

    This is just Burke being Burke.  If you dont like it then just ignore him not a big deal.  I dont think this has anything to do with his ego more like he realizes that he is the Gm of a franchise with the largest following in the whole league and they are bored right now with the Leafs not missing the playoffs and no 1st rounder.  I certainly appreciate it makes it more interesting as a Leaf fan.

  10. Magleaves says:

    And i was just begining to like Burke

  11. number15 says:

    Im a Leafs fan and gotta say, "if" that happened, it would have been a cheap move by Burke…….. sly , smart and ingenious, but yet very very wrong

    im sure Edmonton and especially Boston would be all over Bettman to atleast change the rules or fine Toronto.


    *** Tyler Seguin is a bust

  12. leafit2me says:

    IMO this is a just a smoke screen. BB does not really expect either Hall or Seguin to 'retire' just so the TML can draft them in the 3rd round. If he is going to land a 1st round pick on June 25th he's going to do it in a more conventional way….trade Kaberle and that isn't exactly breaking news. Whether he decides to keep the pick or parlay it into a big name forward is another matter.

    People tend to under value Kaberle because he is in the last year of his contract which by the way is a great contract. He may not be a big physical presence on the blue line but he sure can skate and make some pretty nifty plays which can be an invaluable asset to teams lacking just that. Case-in-point: 2008-09 Ottawa Senators who failed to make the post-season after losing defensemen like Corvo, Mezzaros, Redden & Chara despite the presence of forwards like Heatley, Alfie and Spezza.
    A few teams that are picking high this summer and have considerable firepower upfront may find themselves to be exactly in the same position as the 2008-09 Senators. These teams are in a reload (rather than rebuild) mode. 
    I think that BB should be able to  get a top 15 pick for Kaberle. I like CLB, NYI, TBL, CAR & DAL as possible targets. What's more is that I believe at least a couple teams may give it some serious consideration
  13. opc13 says:

    Burkie ready to grill 'em Leafs GM set to sit down with prospective players at NHL scouting combine By LANCE HORNBY, Toronto Sun
    Memo to would-be Maple Leafs draft picks: Know what kind of car your dad drives, who gave you that nice watch, and for goodness sake, brush up on the American League standings. Those everyday questions are the ones general manager Brian Burke likes to throw at the kids who will be attending this week’s NHL scouting combine at a Toronto hotel. Burke leaves the left-field queries and psych evaluations to his scouting staff, team psychologist Dana Sinclair and a small army of league-approved fitness and medical experts, believing he can get a good read on a player through some casual talk covering more mundane topics. And though Burke’s team has no pick in the first or second round at present, he has already interviewed some of the potential first-rounders in case he pulls a draft-day doozy on June 25 in Los Angeles. “You want to be ready,” Burke said on Wednesday. “One year in Anaheim, we were picking around 20th and interviewed this top-10 kid who really couldn’t be bothered with us. He was slouching in his seat and giving us that ‘why-am-I-here’ look. Finally, I snapped at him: ‘Pay attention, son, I know how to move up you know’ and that got him up.” Burke used to ask a stock question about whether a top prospect had ever been captain of his team. “They’ve usually been a captain in two or three places and that always tells you about leadership abilities. “But the year (Vancouver) interviewed Jaromir Jagr, he told us through the (Czech) translator he had never been a captain. Immediately the red flag went up for us, until he told us the reason was that he had always played with players three or four years older than himself. “We started talking to kids back in October, partly because most of them aren’t nervous by the time they get to this weekend. “So I’ll ask them what car their dad owns, where they got that watch or what place the Blue Jays are in. That can sometimes fluster them, but it also can be a good ice-breaker. “It’s a great thing the NHL does to give us a chance to see and talk to these kids.” Other teams love an esoteric line of questioning. At last year’s combine, Brayden Schenn, younger brother of Leafs defenceman Luke, was asked to choose between taking a pill that would make him a Stanley Cup champion MVP, versus accepting a short life span. Evander Kane had to demonstrate his goal-scoring celebration. NCAA forward Jordan Schroeder had to pick one dinner guest from Barack Obama, tennis queen Maria Sharapova and the often tempestuous Sean Avery. “I’d like to have picked Sharapova because of her good looks, but I went with the logical answer of Avery,” the 5-foot-8 Schroeder joked. Burke would not comment on what he instructs Sinclair to probe for, except to say she has been of valuable service to his teams in Vancouver, Anaheim and now Toronto. She and her husband run Human Performance International, whose clients include the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Sonics, the PGA and the Canadian and U.S. Olympic associations. Heavy workout About 100 draft-eligible players will get a heavy workout this weekend, but most of the projected first-rounders, particularly those who have gone through the national team program in Canada and the U.S., are already well-known to interested teams.

  14. reinjosh says:

    Go away. ANd there is nothing wrong with asking. Asking never hurt anybody. And hey, if they did it, why not.

  15. reinjosh says:

    Brian Burke, you are officially my hero.

  16. reinjosh says:

    Why though? He is rustling up interest from Leafs fans, which is a job of his, and if it works it would be one of the largest coups in history. If you don't have the pick you gave up at least your showing your fans your going to try damn hard to make up for it.

    I have no problem with it. Its funny and it shows balls and creativity.

  17. JannettyTheRocker says:

    I'd like to give Brian Burke a punch in the nose for even thinking of mentioning this scam. I already dislike the guy, but this is just very wrong. BB is the jack-ass who traded away his team's first round pick, so suck it up and live with it…….Brian Burke is a douche bag.

    Oh, and BTW, GO OILERS GO!!! GO OILERS GO!!! LET THE FALL FOR HALL CONTINUE!!! When the Oilers are winning Stanley Cups in the next few years, the Maple Leafs will still be the joke of the NHL, just the way it should be. GO OILERS GO!!!

  18. leafmeister says:

    Okay fine draft Hall. Seriously, get at most three good years of service from him until he realizes that he can both get paid a high salary, and not live in Edmonton, then he will refuse to sign, or request a trade. If you can make millions in any of the great cities that have NHL teams, why on earth would you EVER live in Edmonton?

  19. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I was going to write a post that would a spark a war of words…

    But then I realized from your poisition, I would hate Burke too knowing he was trying to draft a guy that you guys desperately need, screwed your over in the Pronger deal, and gave you Dustin Penner…

    That would suck huge

  20. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Ouch, that hurts. It's not like players are rushing to play for the Leafs…..Your comments are old news bro, and not entertaining at all. Enjoy your losing team for the next decade, while we're winning cups.

  21. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I think this is morally, unethically wrong of Brian Burke…

    But I think it just proves that Burke is one of the smartest men in hockey.

    It's about time that Toronto had a GM like this, this is a guy you can win cups with.

    Burke should write a book, how to turn trash into gold

    Trash (Stajan, White, Mayers, Hagman)= Gold (Phaneuf)

    Trash (Toskala, Blake) = Gold (Giguere, well considereing the cir*****stances)

  22. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Don't you need to win a cup before bragging about it?

  23. leafy says:

    Brian Burke is a mixed bag. There's a soft side to Burke that often comes out at press conferences where he's thoughtful and courteous.

    But there's also a dark side. He can be mean and downright nasty. Just take a look at how he treated Peter Zezel at the end of his career.  Very mean spirited. He can be both good and bad.

    From my personal experiences in life, I have a theory. It's almost impossible to move up to a high position of authority without being a bit of an asshole. Almost all successful people step on other people's toes to some degree. Often times it's good people that get stepped on.

  24. TheLeafNation91 says:

    That is true leafy. Especially in the world of business, which im studying in university, sometimes rough decisions need to be made and the person making the decision needs to be confident in making it. But that sperates the weak leaders from the strong I guess.

    Which I guess Burke does possess, unlike most

    Maybe the Kessel trade wasn't his best, but this is how you must look at it. Our first round selection this year was technically Phil Kessel, which means we geat a young player that can score 30 goals in a year. The only thing I'm actually worried about is the draft pick next year.

  25. KingCanada says:

    U guys are a bunch of nancies!  He's obviously just kidding…  Most GMs ask the kids weird questions..why is this one so bad?

    I really think u guys here on HTR r the only ones making a big deal out of this…

  26. Magleaves says:

    i was hoping it was a joke but you never know what lengths a person will go to make a winning team.

    I guess if it were real there would be a bit more of a backlash faster, instead it just us HTR guys getting angry with or praising burke for it

  27. Kramer says:

    Look at how Donald Trump handled the Teamsters. The mafia wants their cut, so he took care of them with kickbacks and miscellaneous payoffs that the IRS doesn't even know is possible.

    I put all my savings in the cheese industry because I believe cheese is the future. The mob and political corruption haven't yet stuck their nose there, but it's gonna happen one day. Then I'll get out fast. In the mean time, buy as much cheese as you can.

  28. mojo19 says:

    Ya Jannety is right, players not wanting to play in Edmonton is old news. They're just used to it there by now so it doesn't phase them anymore.

  29. blaze says:

    Ok so just assuming Kaberle is traded for the 4th overall, is a top 2 pick then attainable? It looks let Edmonton will take Hall and it's unlikely they would deal with TO anyways. Will Boston be willing to listen to offers on Seguin?

    If Toronto can acquire a second rounder eg. a Grabovski trade what about an offer of:

    TOR: 4th overall, 2nd, Kulemin      BOS: 2nd overall, Ryder (salary dump)

  30. HABSSTAR says:

    I hadn't realized it had made 15 mins since Burke last saw/heard his name mentioned in the media. 

    I'm sure this is a non-story for a couple of reasons:

    1)  It probably was just a joke and designed to draw attention. 

    2)  If it wasn't a joke, the shit storm that actually pulling off something like this would cause would be increadable.  While I doubt there's any rules against it right now I'm sure the League would draft some up pretty quickly afterwards cause it would strike at the very foundation of how the NHL tries to make teams competitive again.  You have a shitty season you get first dibs on high end talent.  Manipulation of the system wouldn't be able to be allowed.  It wouldn't surprise me even now if the NHL moves to tighten or impose rules that would prevent this very type of thing just on the thought of it possibly happening. 

    3) Burke and the Leafs would no doubt be black balled by the rest of the teams.  There's enough grumblings out there to suggest that a fair number of the other GMs in the leauge don't particularily like Burke.  If he did something like this I would bet it would go from grumblings to howls of protest and he'd never be able to pull off another trade for the rest of his time as Leafs GM.  People would simply not return his calls.  Think of how Kevin Lowe took heat for doing something that was total legal and eventually had to give up the GM chair (if maybe only in name) for doing it, a coup like this by Burke would mean he'd need private security cause every other front office type in the league would be after him, and the NHL itself would have to lead the charge so he'd litterally be completely isolated.   

  31. leafmeister says:

    Heatley, Souray, Pronger, Nylander, Jagr, Hossa etc. All guys who requested a trade, or despite pressure from money or a trade, refused to play for the Oilers. 1st line money for 3rd liners is just what it takes to convince anyone to come/stay in Edmonton.

  32. HABSSTAR says:

    Just call a "do-over":

    Tor: Kessel          Bos: 2nd overall, Ryder (salary dump)


  33. DannyLeafs says:

    I can't believe people are taking this seriously. Every GM interviews the top picks, so Burke obviously wanted to make a joke of the fact that he didn't have any picks in the first two rounds, so it was in irrelevant interview to begin with.

  34. Kyleton says:

    I love how everyone is getting all crazy about this. It'd never happen and even if the kids did announce their retirement I would Guarantee that someone would still pick them before the end of the 1st round. 

    This was just a question to get inside a players head and see their reactions and reasoning's. It was probably the first thing Burke asked them to break the ice.

    Other weird questions at this years combine:
    1.) What's your Favorite Beer? This was asked to some of the OHL kids who are primarily 17 or 18 right now in a province where drinking age is 19.
    2.)What would you choose? A gun or a well written poem.
    3.)Create a list of 8 people to climb mount Everest with.
    4.)If your town was invaded by North Korea and you had to leave one family member behind who would it be.

    So ask you can see its just questions to break the ice and gauge reactions. Lighten up

  35. HABSSTAR says:

    1) Molson Ex
    2) Gun- a Browning leaver action .300 Win Mag to be exact.  Way better than a 30.06
    3) 7 guys who have climbed it already and chicken and waffles
    4) my brother – hate that guy!

    How did I do?

  36. Boston_Bruins says:

    This is coming from the guy that has alluded to these two players being a couple of "Daigle's". He also preaches respect and honour in the game and the business (as we've seen through the RFA and NTC problems he's had) so to do this is pretty hypocritical. If this was a joke it's one of the worst jokes I've seen.

  37. reinjosh says:

    He didn't allude to either of them being the next Daigle. He only raised the possibility of prospects being picked first or wherever in the first round being potential busts. I know a lot of anti-Burke people took it to the allude stage but it wasn't. I can understand why you might not like the move but there isn't anything wrong with it. I'm not sure how this is hyprocritical at all. There is nothing disrespectful about asking a player if he wanted to play with his team. Yeah, he asked in a creative way and he got No's from both players. No harm to him, your team, or the players. Making a big deal out of this is pointless. Nothing happened.

  38. reinjosh says:

    Its more than just breaking the ice. It all goes into the mental persona of a player. How they respond, what responses and so on, can tell a lot about someone. You better believe that team psycologists go over these.

  39. leafmeister says:

    To Columbus: Kaberle, Grabovski, 3rd
    To Toronto: 4th overall, 34th overall

    Trade negotiating rights to 34th oveall, Jeff Finger to Tampa Bay for Ryan Malone – Adds both a top 6 forward and toughness to the roster. Tampa could either find a use for Finger or bury him, and they get an early 2nd out of it.

    Trade Francois Beauchemin to Anaheim for 29th overall pick – Bob Murray likes Beauch, and needs some D. Has 2 1sts.

    Then: Trade 4th overall pick, 2nd in 2011, Jimmy Hayes to Boston for 2nd overall pick, Michael Ryder. – Boston continues to stock pile picks, all while dumping salary. They would be able to get a long term replacement for Chara with one of the stud defensemen available.

    With the 2nd over all pick: Tyler Seguin – Edmonton will take Hall
    29th overall pick: Mark Pysyk – Good tough defensemen, Burke allegedly had interest. Move up if necessary.

    Bury Ryder.

    Resign Kulemin, 4 years, 2.9 per
    John Mitchell, 1 year, 750,000

    Free agency: Sign Dan Hamhuis 4 years, 4.2 per.
    Sign Matthew Lombardi 2 years, 2.8 per.

    Next year:

    Kulemin-Bozak-Kessel(A) – Tried and true
    Kadri-Seguin-Malone – Young, fast, tonnes of potential, Malone keeps other team honest, and provides a big body in front of the net
    Hanson-Lombardi-Stalberg – FAST
    Sjostrom-Mitchell-Orr – Meh, 4th line



    After next year, depending on Giguere's play, extend him, but no more than 3.5 mil per.

    A young fast, team, oozing with potential, and a core group of forwards roughly the same age.

    Give me your thoughts. I know this is highly unlikely, but I think all the trades are fair.

  40. Kyleton says:

    I know that's why I wrote in the post "This was just a question to get inside a players head and see their reactions and reasoning's"

  41. DandoEagle says:

    Unless that top six guy is Kessel you won't be getting that trade.

  42. DandoEagle says:

    Uhmm 27 goal scorers are worth more then a second round pick and an inflated contract in finger – atleast Habs fans included prospects in their lstupid!  proposals! Lol

  43. Boston_Bruins says:

    Do you really think Boston would give up the second for that? With the Bruins having alot of cheap rookies they can plug into the lineup it won't be too bad to bite the bullet on Ryder. Leafs fans really have to let that pick go. And if Pysyk somehow falls past the Stars at 11, there's no way he's getting past the Ducks or Bruins at 12 and 15.

  44. Boston_Bruins says:

    Well he was raving about Tavares being so amazing last year and when asked about Taylor and Tyler he just brought up Daigle. That seems to me that he was alluding to it.

  45. leafmeister says:

    On the surface yes, absolutely they are, but look at the term, and who Tampa has to resign. Stamkos 8+ for sure, Hedman, possibly 6+, they already have Vinnie locked up for too much. You have to look past the value of players and more into the contracts, and teams they are on.

  46. leafmeister says:

    To go from 2nd to 4th, which is still an excellent pick, is not a bad, especially when picking up a 2nd next year, and a pretty good pick from two years ago. Boston has 3 good centers, and for being such a good defensive team, they lack blue chip prospects on D. If they have a chance to dump Ryder I think it is something they at least have to consider.

  47. hockeyhead says:


    the douche makes these trades and wants to welch on them.

    just stupid to say and stupid to imply everyone wants to play for the leafs.

  48. albertateams says:

    I really don't care that he did it. But think if he still had one of the top two picks and another GM did the exact same thing. He would loose his mind. He is one of the biggest hypocrites out there. Its just Brian Burke being him self.

  49. Boston_Bruins says:

    There's a sizeable gap between 2nd and 3rd. Way bigger than Hayes and a second.

    The Bruins have Alexandrov and Cross and will likely get their big defense prospect at this years draft. There's talk about them putting a package together that could include any of their next three picks (or you could even throw in Wheeler) to get up around the 5 range to get one of Fowler or Gormley while still keeping Seguin or Hall. Ther Bruins have solid prospect depth, it's not like they have to keep adding and adding to it. 

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