Trade deadline chatter starting to heat up

Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke expects the Feb. 27 trade deadline to seem like a busy holiday, and he plans to have his shopping done early.

“Whatever moves we intend to make will be in advance of the deadline because I’ve never liked the price tag at the deadline,” Burke said.

Last year, the deadline was Feb. 28, but some players began moving as early as Feb. 9. Joffrey Lupul, Francois Beauchemin, Mike Fisher and Kris Versteeg changed teams early and the Boston Bruins picked up defenceman Tomas Kaberle 10 days before the deadline.

Based on his read on this year’s trade talk traffic, Burke anticipates a busy trade deadline.

“I don’t think the math ever changes,” he said. “The number of teams that think they can add a piece and get there is the same every year, and the pressure on general managers remains the same.”

Here is a look at what some teams might be looking to do over the next five-plus weeks:

• Nashville Predators: GM David Poile has been looking for offensive help, primarily a forward to play in his top six. If he can’t re-sign defenseman Ryan Suter, he could look to trade him. Suter can be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and it would be difficult for the franchise to lose him without gaining future help in return.–trade-deadline-chatter-starting-to-heat-up