Picks aplenty to the Maple Leafs
Leafs GM Brian Burke said during his news conference Wednesday he fulfilled his mission of getting rid of expendable players to get picks to replace those the Leafs had moved in previous deals. He got a second-round pick from the Sabres for Moore; a conditional second from the Rangers for Nik Antropov; and a fourth from the Lightning for Richard Petiot.
He also got goalie Martin Gerber for nothing in a waiver move to help fill in for Vesa Toskala and picked up some ballast from the Lightning in the Petiot deal. Burke acquired Olaf Kolzig and Jamie Heward, who will never wear the Maple Leaf, and defenseman Andy Rogers, a former first-round pick who hit the wall in the Lightning organization and might never come to anything with the Leafs. In fact, there were concerns the NHL wouldn't approve the deal.
So the biggest addition of the day in Toronto wound up being Gerber off the waiver wire.
The picks, though, are crucial to Burke's overhaul plan. He's betting his scouts will find prospects who will boost the organization in the years ahead.
We also were impressed by Burke's comments regarding salary and the future. Frankly, Burke shares our thoughts about the league's financial straits in a sliding economy. He is deeply concerned about the 2010-11 and the salary cap for that season.
It's a fiscally intelligent plan.
Also, we must agree with something Pierre McGuire said on TSN.ca. Scouting and player development are the backbone and foundation of success. Teams that do it right, like the Red Wings, are contenders for the long run. Teams that aren't flash and fade.
Burke wants the Leafs to be consistent contenders.
Love him or hate him, Burke has this one right. He just has to make it work.
This is a significant change created by the salary cap. Teams can clear room to make deals while also allowing other teams to add talent without taking a full cap hit.
Examples? The Ducks dumped Brendan Morrison on waivers, and the Stars grabbed him to help their depth at center. Morrison was a dead Duck in Anaheim. So, Bob Murray helped the Ducks.
Gerber goes to the Leafs, whose need for goaltending depth became immediate with the decision to get Toskala into surgery now so he would be ready for training camp.
The Leafs are toast this season, and getting Toskala healthy well before camp is a wise decision.
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