The Buds are on the clock now. Less than 24 hours until the entry draft and Burkie has plenty of work to do. The Buds need to make things happen tonight in order to be well prepared for the draft which starts at 7:00PM Friday night.
The first order of business (two trades) needs to be addressed quickly to position the team for the draft and following that the 'Free Agent Freefall' which begins July 1st. Now Leaf fans to a person understand the desperate need for a first line center, as well as a power forward to add some grit to the top six forwards. It is also painfully obvious that the power play needs a significant upgrade. If past practice is any indicator we should expect Burke to go into the draft with at least one trade in the bag and the parameters of another deal in place to be finalized at the draft table.
A front line center is the first priority and Paul Stastny should be the target. Colorado has no cap problems but Stastny does have a cap hit of $6.6 million for this year and two more seasons. The Buds would have to pay dearly for him but the #25 pick in the 1st, a 2nd rounder,a 3rd rounder and Nazim Kadri might do the trick. The next best trade/UFA possibilities would be Brooks Laich (Washington) and of course Brad Richards (Dallas). In my opinion Burke should attempt to gain bargaining rights for either to give him an exclusive window of a week to attempt to get them to sign. I think a 4th round pick in either case would be worth it for the opportunity.
Defensive Targets....John Michael Liles (Col) who was said to be in play near the trading deadline would be my first target and the offer could be Kadri and Gunnarsson. I'd also target Keith Yandle 24 (Phoenix)and offer MacArthur,Gunnarsson,Nazem Kadri and a 2nd Round pick. The other target would be Dennis Wideman (Wash) and the bait would be Bozak, MacArthur and Blacker. So you pays yer money and makes yer choices. However the bottom line is the Buds need to make their move before the draft starts or they are as Tiger Williams once said "done like dinner'.