Burke Looking At Redden? Leafs On The Move..

Is the garbage back flow causing usually reliable writer Tim Wharnsby to hallucinate?:

“There is belief the Maple Leafs have been zeroing in on New York Rangers defenceman Wade Redden and forward Peter Schaefer of the Boston Bruins. Schaefer, 31, was buried in the minors by the Bruins last season because of salary cap concerns. He has one more year on his contract at $2.3-million (U.S.). Redden, 32, was signed to a six-year, $39-million unrestricted free-agent deal last summer, and the Rangers would not be averse to moving him.”

Yes there is belief in a lot of things out there, the question is how many of these beliefs are based on any sense of reality. So here is the question I have to ask you, let’s assume Burke is indeed looking at Redden, WHY?

Well, let’s start with the assumption that Burke isn’t an idiot. He does have cap room to use as a bargaining chip. You don’t however give that away. Cap room is worth more than gold these days. So what does Burke want back in return for taking on an albatross of a contract? The one thing he can demand is that the other team ingest one of Burke’s bad contracts…. HELLO JASON BLAKE. The other thing he can demand back is prospects and or draft picks.

If Burke peddles away Kubina and or Kaberle, he will need someone to eat minutes on a young blueline. Either of these guys can do that. Also, while I think Leaf nation is a defenceman killer, the fact that he trades for someone else’s bad contract make it easier to digest. Hypothetically, and I say again, hypothetically, let’s say Larry Brooks, I mean Glen Sather takes on one of our bad contracts and gives us a top ranked prospect and or a draft pick for taking Redden off the Rangers. Do you really care that Redden signed a fat contract a year ago? I know we will be paying the contract, and I know it sits on our books, but Burke does have options in dealing with that down the road too. All I am saying is that, in my mind anyway (and maybe the garbage is getting to me) there is a difference in paying the salary as opposed to being the one who offered it up in the first place.

So, I am going to give Tim the benefit of the doubt on this one. He isn’t our version of Bruce Garrioch. He doesn’t usually float rumours out of nowhere.

Howard meanwhile has a good blurb in his blog and a nice tribute to Norm Rumack too- here is Howard’s take on possible Leafs moving…
“IT WON’T SURPRISE ME IF: All of Alexei Ponikarovsky, Matt Stajan and Mikhail Grabovski are traded by Burke this summer. Not to mention at least one of Tomas Kaberle or Pavel Kubina. This may seem excessive and it might suggest to some of you that I consider these players castoffs. Not true. The reason I believe Burke may peddle the abovementioned is three-fold: a) they have varying levels of marketability, but all can still play in the NHL, assuring the Leafs of return value; b) three of the five [Ponikarovsky, Stajan and Kaberle] badly need a change of address after wallowing in team mediocrity for half-a-decade, and c) Burke cannot affect real change by hanging on to the same nucleus of veteran players. If that requires him to make a sideways move or two – change for the sake of change – then it’s something he’ll have to strongly consider. The Leafs (and their followers) have traditionally over-valued players out of concern they may go elsewhere and burst into stardom. It’s the attitude that prevented John Ferguson, in 2006, from parting with Alex Steen in a deal that would have landed the Leafs Chris Pronger. How absurd does that sound today? Matt Stajan, similarly, is a good player and a quality person. But, he’ll never be more to the Leafs than he is right now… same with Ponikarovsky; same with Kaberle. A change of scenery may refresh the careers of these veterans to some extent (none, I can guarantee you, will begin to contend for individual trophies) and it may provide the Leafs with ingredients they do not currently possess. It will certainly begin to alter what has proven, without question, to be a losing hand. Grabovski is more of an isolated issue. Though he was too streaky to be a legitimate top-six forward last season, the Montreal castoff has undeniable talent and competitiveness. He is worthy of being retained as a building block for the franchise, pending his decision to seek arbitration as a method of landing a contract extension. Burke has limited patience for the arbitration process, beyond respecting its rightful place in the collective bargaining agreement. Once a player chooses that route, there is no back-pedaling – or, as Burke put it, “there will not be any settlements on the courthouse steps”. The sense I have is this: If Grabovski takes the Leafs to arbitration and wins, Burke will trade him. He won’t walk away from a ruling, which is also the Leafs’ right, but neither will he continue to look upon Grabovski as truly a part of the team.”

The chatter is starting to pick up…. Eyes and ears open (except around the garbage dumps)


Tim is here

Howard is here

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