Leafs could be buyers and sellers at trade deadline
This year’s deadline is scheduled for April 3 — a mere 12 games before the end of the season — so teams should know if they are buyers or sellers. But for the Leafs, the decision-making process could be a little more complicated since they could be buying and selling.
Will Nonis try and dump the team’s highly paid healthy scratches? Will he try to turn some of the pending unrestricted free agents into draft picks? Will he try and acquire a top-line centre such as Colorado’s Paul Stastny to push the Leafs from a bubble team to a contender?
Or will he stay the course and see what he has in this current group?
The latter was Burke’s preferred method. He never made any blockbuster moves at the trade deadline because he never liked the prices being asked or to be a position to make decision out of fear or panic. In hindsight, his biggest trade deadline pickup was acquiring defenceman Mark Fraser from Anaheim last season.
This year, it is a bit different, if only because the fifth-place Leafs are not on the outside looking in. Heading into Friday night’s games, they were four points back of the Montreal Canadiens and seven points ahead of the ninth-place Winnipeg Jets.