Trade rumblings: Leafs

Brian Burke has made big deals in January. For example, Dion Phaneuf was acquired on Jan. 31, 2010, and Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner were acquired Feb. 9 last season, three weeks before the trade deadline.

Burke likes to get a jumpstart on the competition.

“I do try to get my lineup set well in advance of the deadline,” Burke told Friday. “I’ve never been a deadline guy. So January is when I try to make a splash.”

How’s it going on that front now?

“We are listening to a lot right now, and there is a good chance something will happen, but I don’t think it’s going to happen today or tomorrow,” Burke said. “This is like hunting. Sometimes when you’re hunting, you get a feeling you’re going to stumble on something, or birds are coming in and you get a sixth sense something is about to happen. I don’t sense that here right now. We’re talking to a lot of teams about a number of things — mostly we’re listening because we like our group — but I can’t sense if something is imminent or not. Right now I’d say it’s not.”

As we always say at this time of year, that can change in one phone call.

The Leafs’ trade priority is to add a piece up front for the top-six group.

“Our forward group is small,” Burke said. “If we can add some size up front, we would.”

To do that, the Leafs are willing to move a defenseman, the area on the team where they have the most depth.

There have been rumors about the Leafs looking at goaltending, but Burke shot that down.

“Not a chance,” Burke said emphatically. “We’re not talking to any teams right now about getting a goalie.”