Here’s the latest from a trusty source.
On the Antropov-Chicago rumours heating up:
“Chatter has Hawks VERY INTERESTED in Antro and that talks have really heated up. Rumor is Burke’s interested in the Hawks’ young d-men, i.e. Duncan Keith.”
There are three major defenseman that are available – Kaberle, Pronger and Bouwmeester – and several teams are jockeying for position for all of them. A handful of teams would be happy with any of them.Â If you had to put money on Burke, Martin or Murray, who would you bet on to get the most out of a dealâ€¦exactly.Â Burkeâ€™s got ’em exactly where he wants them and would prefer that one of the aforementioned d-men gets moved first as it will provide him even more leverage.”
On the Pronger-to-Leafs rumours reported by AM640:
“Have not heard thatâ€¦the only reason the Ducks do that is to make something larger happen and the only reason the Leafs do that is if Burke can parlay pronger into more assets immediatelyâ€¦ it’s very remote.”
On the re-sign or trade conundrum with Dominic Moore:
“Burke won’t offer any more than a 2-3 yr term at approx $1.5/yr.Â The feeling is that Moore, although very reliable and a good character guy, just isnâ€™t a top 2 center and that his inflated ice time due to the leafs lack of depth, as well as Blakeâ€™s resurgence, has padded his stats.Â If heâ€™s to sign it will be by the weekend… if not, heâ€™s goneâ€¦Burke has surveyed his value, as he would be a great depth addition to any contender and the return is probably a 2nd rounder.Â Donâ€™t think youâ€™re getting a young prospect.Â Also, if thereâ€™s one guy who could be traded and then re-signed in the summer it would be him.”
I should have a bit more to come on the Antropov-to-Blackhawks rumour later on this evening.
Fears of the habitual late-season drive for ninth place futility are surely resonating among the fan base after a much improved last half of February. Not that anyone’s looking, but the Leafs are now nine points out of a playoff spot and are inching closer to the .500 mark with each passing game. This year’s different, though. It’s not like previous seasons, with the Leafs showing a lack of desire for the better part of the schedule only to realize the season’s slipping away from them and then turning on the jets around February-March. The timing is purely coincidental this time around. While Ron Wilson has found a couple of line combinations that are manifesting the type of chemistry we witnessed earlier in the season, this latest upsurge is largely attributable to Vesa Toskala finally finding some form. Looking at the performance of the Leafs this season excluding their goaltending, this club has had it’s off nights but has for the most part been pleasantly surprising. The accomplishments of this club have largely been masked by the incompetence of their goaltender. So, if you’re of the opinion that the lower the finish the better this season, be thankful Toskala hasn’t been playing consistently at his current level as opposed to being upset with a team that’s been playing as well and working as hard as it has most nights this campaign. With Burke trying to up the ante on some of the current deals he’s cooking up on the back-burner, this in fact could not have come at a better time.