Leafs will spend big this summer: Burke
And still trying to land a higher 1st round pick
The Toronto Star is reporting that Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke will open the vault this summer and spend big money.
Burke also added he is not any closer to landing a higher draft pick, but indicated that if something were to happen, it would probably occur on the floor during draft day.
With Burke’s revelation that the Leafs will spend heavily, several intriguing options are out there.Here are some of the choices Burke has on July 1st:
Jay Bouwmeester – Best defender available and maybe the best player; I’d throw $8M at him and see what happens
Marian Hossa – One of the best forwards available, but will probably want to stay in Detroit
Marian Gaborik – Superstar would warrant big, long-term deal, but health status constantly a question mark
Mike Cammalleri – Good scorer and Toronto native will probably sign with the Leafs
The Sedins – would boost the offence, but introduce an enormous cap hit (~$13-14M?)
Francois Beauchemin – A key defender on the Ducks; Could be targeted by his ex-boss Burke if J-Bo signs elsewhere
Scott Niedermayer – Could be another good fallback if the Leafs can’t land J-Bo
Mike Komisarek – Good tough as nails defender; Maybe Burke throws some cash at him
Petr Sykora – Would add good scoring depth, but I’m guessing he stays in Pittsburgh
Brian Gionta – A long shot at best to join the Leafs, but a good forward nonetheless
Mats Sundin – Has definitely lost a step or two; He wasn’t bad for the Canucks, but has clearly declined the past 12 months
Alexei Kovalev – On the downside of his career, but could provide good secondary scoring somewhere, ie, if he takes a large pay cut
Erik Cole – After watching him closely this spring, he is nowhere near the player he used to be; injuries have taken their toll
Nik Antropov – After several injury-plagued seasons early on, he has settled in nicely to have a solid NHL career, but Burke will probably turn the page
So clearly, there are many things for Burke to think about. With the right moves, the Leafs could upgrade their scoring and defence.
If Burke plays his cards right, the Leafs could improve immensely.
Original Toronto Star link