This is actually a serious debate. Everyone tells me that Brian Burke is trying to acquire a playmaking centre for Phil Kessel. They mention names like Brad Richards and Marc Savard, arguing that Kessel needs someone to pass it to him. But does he? Let's see the arguments for that.
Kessel is all alone on the top line really. He is frightened and confused about what to do as opposing defences focus on shutting him down and laughing at the rest of our top line. This is a strategy that has held Kessel to so few goals in the last 20 or so games. If he had a playmaker he would be able to wait for him to open and get him the puck. As it stands, nobody seems to be able to get him the puck because he is always defended heavily (can you blame them?). Also playmakers tend to be excellent players that can score as well so they will draw some defenders.
With all those arguments it seems like a playmaking centre is the biggest issue facing the Leafs. However, Burke has stated over and over again that his primary focus is to find a winger with size to play with Kessel. He has stopped saying that in the last few months so people have forgotten but he has stated this repeatedly in the past. Now what are the arguments for a winger with size?
Wingers with size tend to be big and strong, which may not be much of an argument until you remember how much Brian Burke values truculence. Remember his proper levels of truculence, belligerence, testosterone, and pugnacity statement? I'll give you a minute to watch it again. Now, remember Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf? That's right, power forwards were the reasons the Ducks won the Stanley Cup.
I would also like to point out that Burke models his teams after the NY Islanders dynasty. That's right, the joke of the league was once a dynasty. They were famous for having wingers with size. Considering they won four straight Stanley Cups I would love to copy them. Furthermore, the Leafs don't have many wingers with size. Sure we have some on the third and fourth line, but all we have in the top six is Nikolai Kulemin, and we all know how much Burke loves his Europeans.
So in conclusion, I think Burke is targeting wingers with size. I don't blame him because I think it is the absolute right thing to do. That is not to say if a good player is available Burke will just pass him by, but he will prefer to go after wingers with size.