I apologize for my lack of activity of late as I have been quite busy with academics, but that should change in the two weeks leading up to the draft. Anyways, passing on a bit of late night news: according to the Calgary Sun, the Maple Leafs were very much involved in the Tim Erixon sweepstakes before the talented young puck-mover was shipped to the Rangers in exchange for a pair of 2nd round selections. Erixon had reportedly refused to sign with the Flames due to concerns about not being guaranteed an NHL job come September. This bit of news may reveal some of the Maple Leafs’ motives heading into the offseason:
1) The team may not be satisfied with the current puck-moving ability on the back end. They had inquired about Colorado’s John Michael Liles at the deadline, but balked at the asking price. Look for the Leafs to seek an upgrade on last season’s 22nd ranked power play with an affordable offensive contributor.
2) Considering the consensus ho-hum nature of the 2011 draft and Burke‘s preference to compete sooner rather than later, the Leafs may choose to dangle draft picks in exchange for prospects that are two or three years ahead of the current draft class. Much like the Rangers have done with Erixon and the Senators with Runblad last year, the Leafs could market one of their 1st round selections if it lands them a player who’s a little more NHL ready.