Monday, June 01, 2009

Latest Maple Leaf rumours

Although Brian Burke tends to do a lot of talking, he isn't foolish enough to get hit with a tampering charge so there is no way of knowing which free agents he will go after. His recent announcement that he plans to spend to the cap suggests he won't be going after fringe players.

A lot of rumours floating around have the Leafs chasing after the Sedin twins. I continue to skeptical. It has been suggested that the Canucks have offered the two Swedes 10-year contracts at $5 million per year. That's a lot of money to spend on 28 year olds that are pretty soft and do not ormally finish in the top 20 scorers (sounds like copies of Mats Sundin). You might have to offer $120 million or more to sign them both. That would require the Leafs shedding some big salaries if they are to fill the other 4 or 5 holes in their roster. Some poor unfornate Leafs could be suiting up for the Marlies this fall to free up cap dollars.

I'm still convinced Burke's number one target is Jay Bouwmeester. He will be the best free agent available. Also I can see him going after Toronto boy, Mike Cammalleri. I also see the Leafs moving Pavel Kubina despite the fact that Burke likes the way he plays. Not sure there will be enough ice time for Bouwmeester, Kubina and Kaberle. Then there is Samuel Pahlsson who is currently with Chicago but played for Burke in Anaheim. Pahlsson is an excellent shot down centre, something the Leafs need badly. Then poor Dominic Moore may return from exile in Buffalo.

The goaltending situation is still up in the air. Jonas Gustavsson is not talking to teams at the moment as his mother died recently. But he may not be ready for the NHL. But there could be some good veteran goalies available including J.S. Giguere.

The Islanders appear to be leaning towards using their first pick to grab Victor Hedman. That means that Tampa Bay could be persuaded to deal away their second pick overall (John Tavares) and Brian Burke is certainly eager to deal. But don't expect it to happen until draft day if it happens at all. There is a lot of talk about the Leafs drafting Luke Schenn's brother Brayden if they remain with the 7th pick in the draft. I think Burke would be happy with Brayden Schenn put it appears he may not around by the time Burke steps to the mike. His stock has continued to rise.