Burke Busy Come Draft Day

Brian Burke will have his hands full this offseason. The free agency this year in nothing special in terms of big name players. The names that come to mind are Marleau and Kovalchuk and since it is very unlikely either end up in Toronto next season Burke will have to trade to bolster his offence. The Leafs do not have a pick in the first 2 rounds, but Burke has said on a few occasions that he will try to acquire a 1st round pick and a top 6 forward. Kaberle and Grabovski are likely on the move with a number of different teams as possible destinations.

The talked about Bobby Ryan trade is still alot of people’s choice for a Kaberle trade. Ryan still has not signed with Anaheim as they want to lock him up for no more than 4.5 mil but Ryan wants atleast 5 mil. Add the possible retirement of Niedermayer and the Ducks defence could use a guy like Kaberle

Chicago is going to be strapped for cash and the leafs could benefit by taking the salaries of guys like Sharp or Byfuglien of the Blackhawks hands

Columbus management has recently said that this summer they intent to move picks and prospects for proven NHL talent. While it is a stretch what better way to make up for giving away the 2nd overall pick than getting the 4th overall pick which would put the Leafs in position to get one of Fowler , Gormley or Gudbranson

joe nieuwendyk apparently likes Kaberle and would like to bring him to dallas. The leafs could get jamie benn or maybe james neal in return which would help burke fill add to his top 6.

with the possibility of Gonchar leaving the Pens might want a puck moving d-man to pick up his production. Staal could come the other way as the Pens still have premier Centres in Crosby and Malkin.

San Jose
With blake retiring soon the Sharks could benefit from adding an offensive defenceman. The sharks have RFA’s like Setoguchi and Pavelski who can expect a raise. Rumors coming out of San jose are that an exit in the first 2 rounds of the playoffs would likely mean moving out 1 of Pavelski, Thornton or Marleau. With Pavelski still young and proving he can produce as well as the fact that Marleau might be willing to resign for cheap, would leave Thornton, and the 1 year left he has on his contract, as the odd man out. Thornton finished 2nd in assists with 69 and could be the ideal centre for Kessel .