Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated puts together some deals that he thinks make some sense from both sides. Here are Maple Leaf ones from his article:
“Toronto sends Tomas Kaberle to Florida for Keaton Ellerby, Shawn Matthias, a 2009 first-rounder and second-rounder
In public, Brian Burke says he doesn’t want to deal Kaberle, a reliable puck-mover signed at a fair price for two more years, unless his doors are blown off. In private, I’m guessing Burke realizes that Kaberle’s part of the transition, not the long-term solution. A mid-level first-rounder and Ellerby (10th overall, 2007) would expedite Toronto’s rebuild. Ellerby has filled out nicely since he was drafted, adding 30 pounds to a now 6-4, 205 frame. He has the look of a solid, top-four blueliner.
Word out of Florida is that they’re not inclined to take salary back — they recently laid off some front office staff — but any team appreciates good value. At $4.25 million, Kaberle is a relative bargain. And by dressing up the roster with Kaberle, the Panthers accomplish two goals: they set themselves up for a legitimate run at the playoffs and make themselves a more appealing long-term option for Jay Bouwmeester. Make that three: if Bouwmeester is deemed unsignable prior to the draft, his rights can be dealt, and Kaberle is in place as insurance.”
“Toronto sends Nik Antropov to Chicago for a first-rounder
The Hawks need immediate help with Patrick Sharp on the sidelines — and depth down the middle when he returns — but they can’t afford to take on significant salary or give up pieces of the current puzzle. Antropov is big, he can be physical, and he can play anywhere up front, giving Chicago valuable depth for their first playoff run since 2002 . . . and all he’ll cost is a pick.”
Read the rest of Allan’s deals here
Quote of the day:
“It’s hard because the only thing you get from the fans is you’re an idiot.” Tampa Bay Lightning owner Oren Koules
Ya think that may because you given no evidence to the contrary?
The Hat Talks Burke:
I include this cause I just love saying, from tomorrow’s paper:
“LIFE OF BRIAN: It’s hard not to get mesmerized when Leaf GM Brian Burke is in a voluble mood – as he was the other day on a conference call with reporters, when he outlined a whole lot of specifics about what he had in mind for his Toronto squad going forward. Burke was equally candid about big-picture broader issues, relating to the deadline; the upcoming free agent season; and just about any topic that didn’t involve specific individual players under contract to other teams, which of course, would constitute tampering.
So Burke cannot say if that all the cap space that he’s hoarding at the moment will be offered to the Sedin twins, or Mike Cammalleri, if any or all hit the open market this summer; or if the window to deal Tomas Kaberle, when it opens this summer, will be used to make a move on Pronger, for whom he’s traded for twice in his career and would be a logical place to start the chemistry change that he wants so badly in the organization, even if the thirty-something Pronger is not of an age to help the long-term rebuilding of the team. When asked about preliminary contract talks with player agents, Burke said the primary man on that front is assistant GM Jeff Jackson. However, Jackson relays information to Burke and their collective view is that agents have yet to factor in the changing economic times into their demands for new contracts. “I don’t sense that they would concede the economic conditions, looking ahead, might have changed as much as we feel they have,” said Burke, who said he too is personally experiencing the effects of the recession, with two houses for sale in California. “I don’t think I’ll be able to sell those homes, even what I paid for them, for three years. That’s a stark economic reality for us. Not complaining, just to me, I don’t need to speculate on whether the economy’s off, there’s first-hand evidence of it in our family. That’s going to come home to roost. Whether it has yet or not (with agents), I don’t sense that it has. ”Meaning that agents who are using salary comparables from the last few years to establish market value for their clients in today’s changing economic climate may be in for a surprise? “I wish them well in their quest,” said Burke. Burke went on to say that as a seller, it helps his cause that the playoff races are so close “There’s good bunching; I think that’s good for our business,” said Burke. And even if it hurts his own cause, trying to get value for the players he has on offer, Burke would not retreat from his claim that GMs, more often than not, get it wrong at the deadline.“Any mathematician will tell you that we’re all crazy,” said Burke. “Collective pronoun again. We’re all nuts – because there are 30 teams and there is one parade. After the first round, there are only eight teams playing. So after the first round, you get 22 teams on the sidelines. The math is horrible. “The notion that you’re going to add to your team and hope you win a round, the math defies that. But the human element is, first off, there’s that optimism we all share, that belief we’re missing that one piece. Second, your team expects it. Your players are looking to you to add weapons for this last part of the race. “So we all get sucked in.” And while some GMs do make decisions that help them win in the short term, Burke contends: “There are five or six of us that made poor ones that same day. It’s an awful day, it’s an exciting day, it’s a day full of magic, and a day full of very poor decision making.”
Read the rest of Eric Duhatschek’s column here
Word is that Buzz Hargrove has replaced Eric Lindros as the NHLPA’s new obudsman. Great news. Great news as long as you are looking for a labour war!