April 16, 2009

Could Burke really trade Schenn?

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:

@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?

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.


Scott said...

I'm not a believer in Tavares, but I know Burke is crazy enough to pursue the shit out of him. I just don't think he has the ammo to land him.

Anonymous said...

As Nike say "just do it".

Tavares is THE next big thing. If Burk has even got half a chance ofgetting him then he's got to go for it.

woodpeck said...

we couldn't trade Schenn. Brian can't either. He's too much in love with big lugs on the D. "build the team back2front" says Brian. We'll keep him at his word and therefore Schenn stays. we can see fist pumpin' going back to the Isle though. would a package of him and some youth enough to nab the top pick?

general borschevsky said...

"Luke Schenn - Future Captain of the Islanders."

That's like the dirtiest thought I've ever had in my life. Please, for the love of all that is Holy, please forgive me and please let this never be.

Naveed said...

why the hell would NYI want blake. they didnt want him in his prime...now theyd want him at more money/ more contract years and older??

eyebleaf said...

Scott: I'm pretty certain Tavares is not going to be a bust. Kid seems like the real deal. Worth the risk, I think.

Anon: Burke's trying to get him. That says something.

Woodpeck: I think trading Schenn would be the hardest thing Brian Burke ever had to do. And there's no way Blake is involved in the discussion. Absolutely no way.

General: Yeah, it's horrible, isn't it? It's not right. Not fair to Luke. He deserves to be captain of the Leafs, not the Isles.

Naveed: You're right. Blake's name will not even be discussed. He's staying a Leaf. Hey, he's our leading scorer, after all!

Escaped Lab Rat said...

I have to agree...Tavares and Jay are better than Schenn and no. 7, no question. Assuming we've had NO contact with Jay's agent though...*wink wink*.

Well, it looks like we're all in agreement that Luke is going to be captain of SOME team in the future.

Anonymous said...

No. Not after a memorable season for the guy. Trading him to the hellhole known as Long Island (no offense to any residents of the Island), but seriously. I don't want to see poor Mr. Schenn stuck with the blue and orange.

If that trade were to go down, I would fist somebody in great anger.

Kavel Pubina said...

In response to "Anonymous":

Yes. If Luke were to be traded, I would be royally peeved off. I mean, that would be a total disservice to a guy who's already become a fan favorite in T.O.

I don't care if its for Tavares, hell, I don't care if it's for Crosby. We'll never, EVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEERRRRR trade Luke Schenn. Never.

eyebleaf said...

Escaped: Luke will be captain of Team Canada one day, too. Kid's a stud, no doubt about it.

Anon: Yeah, a part of it really is not wanting to send Schenn to hockey purgatory. Fucking Islanders. What a basket case. Would you fist Brian Burke in great anger if he got you John Tavares? That is the question.

Kavel: Haha, Pubina. That made me laugh. Juvenile, I know. As Stoeten would say, "no, you grow up." You know, it's amazing how much of a fan favourite Schenn's become in only one year. I think he's a phenomenal defenceman with a crazy bright career in front of him, but I also think he's a product of Toronto fans not having much to cheer about. I mean, I'd probably trade Schenn for Malkin, or Ovie, even Crosby. No one is un-tradeable, not even the great Schenn, bless his Saskatchewan heart.

Kavel Pubina said...

If anything, the reaction to a Schenn trade would probably be akin to how Oilers fans felt when Gretzky got traded to LA in 1989.

eyebleaf said...

Kavel, that's what I mean, should a Schenn trade really be compared to the Gretzky trade? I mean, I know we're talent starved, and things have been bleak around here for a bit, but I don't think that's a fair comparison.

I'm torn. I'm going to go listen to Natalie Imbruglia.

wrap around curl said...

Why do you hate me?

Anonymous said...

If we're being honest, there is NO WAY that Schenn getting traded to the isles/lightning for the first or the second pick is the same as 99 going to LA.

I love Schenn as much as the next guy, but Tavares would light the ACC up!

We would also have a genuine star on the team, and a corner post to build everything else around.

If we get Tavares how much easier would it be for Burke to get persuade some one like Jay-bo to sign with us?

Finally, looking at the bigger picture, and keeping my emotions under check, it's the right move to make.

Lee(tch) said...

Great article (yours, not that other guy from the newspaper).

Maybe I'm not getting it: why is everyone so in love with Luke Schenn? If Burke could deal Schenn and a couple of future 1st rounders (because that's the LEAST it will take) for Tavares, why not do it?

Having said that, if NYI or TB trade their draft picks, both GM's should be fired. This Tavares guy is getting the same type of Crosby-Ovechkin hype so I have no idea why they'd want to trade their picks away short of their club heading towards bankruptcy. If I was Garth Snow, I'd do some research on the topic of "How Other GM's Bent Me Over" and read chapter 2002 Draft, Columbus vs. Florida.

Anyhow, I wish Burke and Colangelo switched teams. I'd love to hear Burke call out Chris-I-Suck-Bosh. The Raptors are the team that needs some tough love, not these young Leafs who WERE EXPECTED to suck for the next few years.

Down Goes Brown said...

Tavares is a better prospect than Schenn. That's pretty much the end of the argument.

Now, I'd really prefer not to move Schenn, and would rather see the Leafs deal next year's #1 instead. But the idea that Schenn, as great as he is, is somehow untouchable is just strange.

Anonymous said...

If Tavares ends up a leaf...Navin...u better come to my house, get on one knee and kiss my ass.....i have been saying Tavares for 2 and 1/2 years....u know it....dont lie bout it...and know it might happen....and if i remember your words correctly it was something...."i am going to slap you bhatti, Taveres will not be a leaf".....if it happens you will be slapping me.....in the ass with ur mouth....and i will enjoy it, without one gay feeling....OK maybe one gay feeling....


Symmetrical Hippopotamus said...

I say go around Garth. Offer to alleviate Tampa's cap issues (Ryan Malone, anyone?), and offer anything and everything possible save Schenn for the number 2.

Step two is to use the dirty magic to get Garth to switch his #1 for the #2. Maybe the rumors of JT not playing on the Island will be more believable with Burkey holding the #2 pick.

Don't believe it? Go read up on 1999's draft. He gave his 4th overall and a conditional 3rd round pick for the number 1 overall in that draft... yeah.

Lee(tch) said...

Bhatti = funny

You can invite Steve over too. He'll enjoy it with the gay feelings.

Anonymous said...

Schenn and the number 7 WON'T get it done. It will take Schenn and the #3 and a 1st round pick next season, so the Islanders can draft Duschene. Still gives them a shutdown d-man and a scorer.

Wang and Snow both know they can't afford to screw up this pick. This is the pick that will either keep them on Long Island with a revitalized fan base, or force the team out if they mess this up.

eyebleaf said...

Wrap: I love you, honey.

Anon @ 12:10 PM: I pretty much agree with everything you said. Under the right circumstances (trading Schenn), it is the right move to make, as much as it pains me to say that.

Lee(tch): Bro, you're a joker. Was "How Other GMs Bent Me Over" written by Mike Milbury? It must have been. A part of me believes this is all for not, b/c those two borderline retarded franchises can't possibly trade their picks. But, hey, you never know. So, in Burke we trust.

And, you're right, it would be cool to see how Burke would have ripped Bosh.

DGB: As usual, you hit the nail on the head. The lack of good young talent, and the lack of a true superstar in Toronto, has elevated Schenn into a stratosphere he doesn't belong in. He's good, great, solid, a cornerstone, but he's not untouchable, by any means.

Bhatti: If Burke lands Tavares, you can sing the Shaq song: "Eye-B, tell me how my ass tastes!" Although I would never kiss your ass, I would issue you a full out apology on the blog and refer to you as LORD BHATTI for one year.

Also, if Burke lands Tavares, I will build the statue of his likeness for outside the ACC my bloody self.

Symmetrical: Great screen name, first of all. As your comment suggests, if there's one guy who can pull this off, it's Burke.

Lee(tch): I'm telling Steve you said that.

Anon @ 4:34 PM: Schenn, our #7th, and a #1 pick is what I'd offer. Maybe throw in one of our prospects too. I don't know. It shall be very interesting, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Nice....U will kiss my ass...:0


Johnny G said...

Jays = Nailz
Roy Halladay = Nailz
As always