@eyebleaf Hey, you guys wanted Brian Burke? You got him. What makes the Leafs better: guy like Bouwmeester and Tavares? Or Schenn and No. 7?
April 16, 2009
You know who's enjoying the new Brian Burke era the most in this, the fine city of Toronto? Jeff Blair, of The Globe and Mail. His column today is an absolute must read. (Talks with Mikhail Grabovski's agent have "not been successful." Lovely.)
Burke's for real, and he's got his binoculars locked on John Tavares. Apparently he's already called the New York Islanders to say hi, and sent what I'm sure was a very pleasant email down to Tampa Bay. The man doesn't mess around.
My initial reaction to Burke's comments from Tuesday was that of reservation. I thought the Leafs weren't going to mortgage the future anymore, so what's all this talk about trading first round picks, and possibly even trading Luke Schenn? Say it ain't so.
But along came Jeff Blair, via Twitter, and in his infinite wisdom he asked me:
Well, I'll be damned, but I think Blair might be on to something. Don't get me wrong, I love Luke Schenn. He is the type of defenceman we Maple Leafs fans have dreamed of for years. But if the Leafs send him to Long Island, where hockey goes to die (ugh, sorry Luke), along with draft picks (ugh, multiple first rounders, I'm sure), in return for Tavares, well ... it certainly makes you think, doesn't it?
Of course, there's no guarantee Burke will be able to sign unrestricted free agent Jay Bouwmeester at 12:01 PM on July 1st, further complicating matters.
But were it all to go down as planned, come July 2nd, a Leafs team with Tavares and Bouwmeester, and a depleted draft picks cupboard (as if that's anything new to this franchise), would be better than a Leafs team with Schenn and a seventh overall first-round draft pick, whomever it turns out to be. Period.
Look, I know Schenn's special. But Tavares might be even more special. He might be Evgeni Malkin, or Alexander Ovechkin, or Sidney Crosby type special. He might be the young, dynamic offensive player the Toronto Maple Leafs have never had.
It's a tough one. Believe me, I know. How the hell do you trade a guy like Luke Schenn, the future captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs? And to the Islanders, of all teams. He doesn't deserve that. It would be blasphemy; a sin. And then, on top of that, Burke would be putting all his eggs in the free agency basket. Frankly, I can't believe this is even being discussed.
But I think if the opportunity presented itself, if the Islanders agreed to accept a package of Schenn and multiple draft picks for John bloody Tavares, it just might have to be done. And Brian Burke is crazy enough to do it.