Experts Look: What's Up Burke's Sleeve?

HTML: The Toronto Media

Yes, Brian Burke has been all over the news in Toronto with his opinions, theories and updates on how he intends to handle his Maple Leafs team heading into the trade deadline.

But was it all a big “smoke screen” for a much larger and well-devised plan Burke and his staff have been working on that no one saw or will see coming???

Brian Burke, with a month before the trade-deadline began to make head-lines with his calling out of Nik Antropov and Vesa Toskala regarding their in-consistent performances that Leaf fans in all honesty were accustomed to. To their credit, both have responded with improved play to silence their boss. But he is a boss with a bigger grin on his face now as both have drastically improved their price tags for the trading market (With Antropov, all but assuring his imminent departure from the team)…

Burke would then begin to discuss trading his top veteran duo on the back-end in Tomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina saying both could be dealt and that he will receive a list of teams that both would prefer to be traded to. This automatically advertised both defensemen to the entire league that they could now be had. However, only a couple of weeks later Burke then dismissed the notion of shopping either player – saying not only were they quality players on the ice but off as well (an un-purchasable talent). Specifically in Kaberle’s case, after constantly speaking about how sweet Kaberle’s contract is, Burke set the price tag that if anyone wanted him they would have to part with a 1st round pick, roster player and top prospect. This is interesting because thoguh very pricey he didn’t mention anything on that front regarding Kubina who in some cases is regarded as a more reliable defenseman than Kaberle, but Burke probably knows this and if that’s the bar he set for Kaberle, if a team comes calling with a 1st and top prospect for Kubina, they might now think they have a steal. But I’d be willing to bet Burke will once again have a smile on his face…

And finally, with Dominic Moore who won over Leaf fans with his consistent work ethic on the ice, has been all over Toronto news stations with reports on how his agent and the Leafs were trying to work out a new long-term contract. The two teams were reportedly off by just 500k with Moore seeking a long-term deal at 3million annually. But was Burke seriously intending to extend the veteran Moore to a much richer deal for his younger and rebuilding team? Or was this again using the Toronto media to advertise his player into a rival team thinking, “hey, if I can get this guy they were trying to keep because he’s been so great this year – for only a 2nd rounder, I’ve got a steal!”. Now seriously, we all know Moore is simply benefiting from more ice-time he wouldn’t of received on a contending team and was till only a year ago a journeyman who was constantly floating on the waiver-wire. A 2nd rounder for Moore would at the least be a steal for the Leafs!

In conclusion, Burke has now munipulated and set the stage for teams to “over-pay” for the above mentioned. What many would have tossed away for a quality 12oz steak, Burke will now get strong assests for. It will be interesting to see which teams go for this, especially the one that will have to pay at least a 1st rounder for Nik Antropov. Which would then set-the bar for what a very simular Alexei Ponikarovsky would get. Then the domino effect with Jason Blake, Jamal Mayers, Matt Stajan, Jeff Finger and Mike Van Ryn could take place, though it’s unlikely these role players will all find new homes. There is also no guarantee if both or either Kaberle or Kubina will go. But the bar is now set for them not just for todays deadline but will only carry on to the NHL 09 Prospects Draft in June where who ever is left over from this article should once again expect a few phone calls for their services in the just as busy “draft day”. Where be sure, Burke will continue to use this manipulation scheme he has now created in the media with the intention of advertising his players for over-paying prices…

But I guess one could say, “isn’t that false advertisement”?


14 Responses to Experts Look: What's Up Burke's Sleeve?

  1. mojo19 says:

    Cool. Interesting stuff.

    But don't call Poni-boy similar to Antropov. He may be able to put up somewhat similar numbers but Poni can't dominate a game the way Antropov can, not even close.

    For the very last time:

    I HEART 80

  2. 24_cups_and_counting says:

    Can't wait to see leaf fans reactions when big nik fetches a 3rd or 2nd tomorrow. Anybody else see during the intermission of the pens/lightning game when asked about niks value? McKenzie and Mcguire almost spit coffee all over dreger with laughter when the mention of a 1st round pick was thrown out there?

  3. LeafsNation91 says:

    I know…I watched it, and I have said it before that Antropov will get a second today. Which is pretty good because were missing a second. Though, he will not, and should not go for a third.

  4. Ibeleaf says:

    The only other players drafted in the first round in 1998 that have scored more career goals than Big Nik are Lecavalier, Gagne, Tanguay and Gomez, with the latter two only just. Not comparing him to any of those but  I certainly think Nik is worth a 1st round pick.

  5. Ibeleaf says:

    The only other players drafted in the first round in 1998 that have scored more career goals than Big Nik are Lecavalier, Gagne, Tanguay and Gomez, with the latter two only just. Not comparing him to any of those but  I certainly think Nik is worth a 1st round pick.

  6. SpamIam says:

    I wouldn't be surprised to see Bowmeester or Pronger end up in Toronto.  If Burke can get either players name to a contract extension, it would make a lot of sense. 

  7. cam7777 says:

    well, I think the trading of Vermette for Leclaire and a 2nd has raised the stakes on what guys like Antropov are worth once more.  With only 9 goals and 28 points on the season, Vermette was apparently worth a top-end goaltender (albeit, one who is injured, but still under contract for 3 years) and a mid-range 2nd round pick. 

    you'd have to think Antropov's value will exceed Vermette's at this point.  The big guy is far more useful than Vermette, whatever Bob McKenzie and Pierre McGuire say.

  8. greatlife15 says:

    I got a feeling the Deadline will be a bust for the Leafs. There will be MAYBE one trade. Well there's always Draft Day.

  9. Rickler says:

    I agree that…
    I think they'll end up landing a late first rounder, possibly from Vancouver for Antropov. Or you'll see a second and a decent prospect.
    Still early.

  10. cam7777 says:

    Anyone think it's possible that Jay Bouwmeester goes to Buffalo?  With the signing of Tim Connoly, a simple look at their numbers will tell you that they are running out of room to resign all their talented forwards.  They need to resign Stafford, Kaleta, MacArthur and possibly Kotalik.  They also need a big name defensemen, as they don't have a lot of firepower their moving forward.

    to FLA:
    Drew Stafford, Jaroslav Spacek and a 1st round pick
    To BUF:
    Jay Bouwmeester, Nick Boynton

    The Sabres get their big name defensemen, and would have a good chance at resigning him.  It's a hockey market, without the pressure of a canadian hockey market.  Stafford can help with a playoff push right now for Florida, and Spacek can competently replace Bouwmeester for the time being….

  11. GoLeafs13 says:

    it would take that just or probably more just to get Bouwmeester.

  12. cam7777 says:

    well, they are giving nick boynton away.  they don't want him anymore, so basically, he's tossed in for money saving measures.  you might as well ignore the fact i even included him in the deal…

  13. GoLeafs13 says:

    If Jordan Leopold can get a player, prospect, and pick Kaberle definatley can.

  14. HABSSTAR says:

    As it turned out the Leafs got a good return for the players they traded.  Nothing spectacular, but along the lines of what was expected. 

    Burke's constant hyperbole aside both Antropov and Moore went for what most people expected them to go for. 

    Now the Leafs organization will bide it's time until the draft where they may be able to peddle more of their players.  All in all this is pretty much what I expect.  Burke can say so and so is worth a 1st round pick and a prospect all he wants, however the problem with that is it takes two GMs to make a deal.

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