Burke 'trying hard' to make a trade

All eyes are on Brian Burke.

Maybe that’s because he’s one of the few GMs who will actually be in Ottawa for this weekend’s NHL all-star festivities, but with the trade deadline only 31 days away, everybody is waiting for Burke to make a move.

“He’s trying. He’s trying hard. He definitely wants to get bigger,” a league executive said Thursday.

In a battle for one of the final two or three playoff spots with as many as six or seven teams in the Eastern Conference, the Maple Leafs want to get stronger.

Burke would like Toronto to be more hard-nosed, especially up front.

A guy on the Leafs’ radar could be San Jose W Ryane Clowe. He has a cap hit of $3.625 million through next season, but the word is he might be someone the Sharks are willing to part with before the deadline.

Before anybody in San Jose picks up the phone to get GM Doug Wilson’s denial he’ll move Clowe, the belief is it would take more than the Leafs might be willing to offer to make that deal happen, so going after a potential unrestricted free agent is more realistic.

The Leafs would certainly have an interest in Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu. The Hurricanes have held talks with his camp, but it’s believed Ruutu wants too much on a long-term deal, which means he’ll likely be moved.