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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June 24, 2009 9:49 am

I don’t buy it for one second that the Leafs are “zeroing in” on Redden. 32.5 mil to go with a 5 year anvil?
There is no logical reason to even consider it,Blake is a bargain in comparison

June 24, 2009 10:04 am

In my humble opinion; I’d rather have Blake and his contract than Redden’s (if that’s the choice). That said; if Redden comes with other goodies and Burke isn’t afraid to move Redden to the Marlies in a year or so (assuming his play doesn’t pick up and he needs the cap room later)…I’ll buy it.

Regarding Peter Schaefer; with all of the vets likely on the move – perhaps Burke is looking to a) fill the roster and b) add character – but you’d think he could do better than Schaefer but….2009/2010 is another early stage transition year so; who cares if it’s Schaefer or someone else like him.

June 24, 2009 10:10 am

I truly find this hard to believe, maybe Schaefer with some incentive because his contract only has a year remaining, but Redden… Listen to Burke’s previous comments on touching contracts of that sort, he laughs at the notion outright, hell I don’t think he would offer what’s remaining on Redden’s contract (5 yrs $30+ million) to one of his own guys let a lone a castaway. If that was indeed true, it better be a hell of an incentive included there for Burke to even consider it, but, as I said, I just can’t see it at all.

June 24, 2009 10:40 am

I’d like to hear one logical proposal that justifies Redden.Dealing for him and putting him on the Marlies would go over real big with the NHLPA.He was only 12 points shy of his point total the year they signed him to the big contract, do you really think we’d hit the jackpot trading for him?, and how would it play in NY if a year after signing him Sather moves him and a very valuable asset for what? He’ll be 32 in a few weeks,so we then trade Kaberle and or Kubina? this rumor is a joke There is absolutely no upside in making the deal

June 24, 2009 10:44 am

Eggy, I agree with your sentiment however does anyone know where the Rangers are drafting and how many picks they have in the first couple rounds?

Also, if Kubina is moved, there’s 5 mill off the books. However, logically your right it doesn’t make sense for the term because the length isn’t comparable with Kubby’s 1 year remaining vs. Reddens 5yrs.

Add Blake into the mix to be traded to the Rangers who’s got 3yrs left at 4 mill per and it makes it slightly easier to swallow. Rangers still get some salaray relief too obviously which I would suspect is their main goal.

Now the hope is, what if Redden can bounce back?? Is it even possible? Can Wilson get him turned around? Big gamble for sure but my point is what if he can, he once had the tools and ability to be a top d man, not too long ago I might add and could fill in the void of Kubina. Now last few years looking at his performance would clearly say the opposite as we all know but what if….

I’d be curious to see what else is coming our way though, would have to be some decent picks and or prospects. I have to believe Burke is also interested in either Colton Orr, Ryan Callahan or Brandon Dubinsky as these guys all fit the typical Burke mold type of player.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the thought of adding Redden I just wonder if there is any way it can work to our advantage…

Pension Plan Puppets
June 24, 2009 11:18 am

Redden is signed for five more years. FIVE! Him coming to Toronto makes absolutely no sense even if that means that Kaberle and Kubina are getting moved. Why not use the savings to get defencemen that will actually improve the Leafs in the long-run?

Not to mention that Blake at least has developed into the kind of player that you want to have around your young players while Redden is the kind of guy that you would consider a bad *sniff* influence.

The second part at least makes sense. Those players are all varying levels of good (Poni actually had a strong case as the team’s MVP last year) and are proven NHL players which should draw at least some assets.

I hope Grabbo gets signed though.

June 24, 2009 11:37 am


I’d rather keep both Kaberle and Kubina than deal for Redden,and I want Burke to trade them both.The only possible way this deal makes sense,would be if the Rangers became part of a 3 way in jacking us into the one or two spot in this years draft,but I don’t know if they are even in a position to be involved in that type of scenario

The Meatriarchy
June 24, 2009 3:08 pm

LEafs lunch reported that Darren Draeger says this rumour is baseless.

As for Howard’s tribute to Rumack he said that Norm was a victim of the global recession? WTF is that guy smoking? If you get laid off with a couple of hundred co-workers you were the victim of the recession.

If you are the only guy let go? You were fired.

June 25, 2009 7:40 am

Not really The Meatriarchy,

Rumack’s slot isn’t a money maker,if fat is to be trimmed he’d be the one to go.

June 25, 2009 1:38 pm

All this hype surrounding Redden is ignoring the big, cocaine-dusted elephant in the room- when Redden was on the verge of being traded from the Sens, he was quoted as saying that he would never, ever accept a trade to the Leafs……..

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