In case you missed it, here are some of the key points from Burke’s interview on the Fan590 this morning:
There have been some legitimate offers made on Tomas Kaberle, though he expects that the quality will continue to increase as the deadline approaches
The team continues to look for a top six winger with some size and scoring ability
Offers have been primarily “future-oriented”, which would include a quality young player and a high draft pick. He would prefer to receive a package that would help the club more right now, but these offers are serious enough that he may re-evaluate his position and consider accepting one
The team is not looking to acquire a big centre. Although they are small down the middle, the priority remains a big, scoring winger.
Nazem Kadri has done everything the club has asked him to do and looked “fantastic” at the prospect camp last month. He is stronger in the upper body and is more explosive.
They are pleased to have signed Jerry D’Amigo to a pro contract, but were not a factor in his decision to leave RPI. He made that decision on his own and will now battle it out for a spot on the opening night roster. Burke characterizes D’Amigo’s progress over the past season as “meteoric”.
He believes that the arbitrator made the right decision in siding with the NHL on the Kovalchuk saga. The Maple Leafs have not and will not take part in these mega long-term contracts that tail off drastically at the end.
As we head into the draft weekend, Burke’s shown the fans and media that a) he’s not afraid to swing a huge deal and b) no one’s going to see it coming. You can bet he’s going to be be mulling over and considering all sorts of huge blockbuster type scenarios over the next few days, and there could be the teeniest, tiniest, slightest, smaller than Wallin’s point totals chance that he’ll have an interesting decision to make: whether to trade Schenn or Kadri. Yes, I know the popular opinion is to never trade either of them and I’m fully on board with that, but this is purely hypothetical. Imagine Sidney Crosby or whatever player of your choice is coming back the other way.
Now… the other team has given you the choice of giving up either defenseman Luke Schenn, the former 5th overall pick and future defensive anchor on the blueline, or Nazem Kadri, the former 7th overall pick and talented potential 1st line center. Which one would you be more inclined to trade away, and which one would you be more inclined to keep?
Weâ€™ve partnered up with Pension Plan Puppets to bring to you a Player Review series, where we will be evaluating and grading the 2009-10 season for every Leaf who featured in a significant number of games for the Blue and White last season, with an eye towards 2010-11. Next up we feature Nazem Kadri, profiled by Chemmy:
“The Summary: This is the kid we wanted. Nazem Kadri is a talented prospect with slick hands andÂ a flair for dramatic moves that have completely embarassed defenders in the OHL.
He played one game in the NHL this year as an emergency recall against theÂ San Jose Sharks where he was a minus one and didn’t record a shot on net. Kadri represents our hopes as Leafs fans but it’s important to temper your expectations: Kadri isn’t the next Crosby and has a lot of work to do as a player and an athlete before he’s ready to be our first line center.
Nazem Kadri had quite the eventful game earlier today against the Ottawa 67′s. On one play, young centre crashed into the 67′s goalie while going to the net and found himself dropping the gloves against defenseman Tyler Cuma. Summary: Kadri dummied him with a vicious left. Boy, I can’t wait until this kid’s up here to stay. Oh and yeah, he scored a goal too (8 points in 5 games since the World Juniors). Here’s the fight.
Nazem Kadri continues his torrid play with another 2 goals last night against the Sagniaw Spirit. The first one was an absolute beauty, really highlighting upon all of Kadri’s strengths. He’s deep in the corner boards of his own zone, makes a clearing attempt that eventually squeaks out, bursts out of his end with a great deal of speed, lifts the defender’s stick to steal the puck, pulls off a pretty toe drag move with a top corner shot through the defender’s legs. Outstanding.
- The Toronto Sun explains that Burke came very close to acquiring Brent Sopel in two potential deals that both were believed to have fallen apart on Sunday. Apparently, he is looking to re-acquire 1st and 2nd round picks to compensate for the loss of draft picks from the Kessel trade.
- ESPN’s John Buccigross presents a great human interest story that about Brian Burke’s gay son provides insight into the close father-son relationship.
- Nazem Kadri’s been on an absolute tear of late. Click here for highlights of his 3 point night against Kitchener and here for highlights of his beautiful shorthanded marker against Russia in the Subway Series.
Update: Damien Cox is reporting that Burke is currently working on at least two possible trades.
- The Toronto Sun‘s got a very interesting quote from Ron Wilson. When broached about the possibility of call-ups from the Marlies, the head coach replied: “It would give us a boost, but because we are kind of limited, we canâ€™t send anybody down”. You’re kidding right? What happened to all that preseason talk about burying underperforming veterans in the minors? Where’s the accountability?
- Darren Dreger offers up some speculation as to what could be a very busy offseason next summer with as many as 17 free agents, 11 of whom will be unrestricted. He mentions that Stajan is a very likely candidate to be traded, and Ponikarovsky seems to be the only one who will be offered an extension.
- Prospect Notes: Nazem Kadri had a pair of very impressive games this past week, first in the OHL vs. Russia Subway Series, displaying a ton of poise and skill running the powerplay and then notching 3 assists against Erie last night. Jimmy Hayes, the Leafs’ 2008 2nd round selection, is showing signs of breaking out in the NCAA, with a 4 assist game last week and another goal last night.
- Once again, a pair of purples avaiable at cost for the Monday night’s game against John Tavares and the New York Islanders. First come first serve basis via email please.
After all the hype surrounding a potential trade up proved for naught, Brian Burke went with a surprise pick in centerman Nazem Kadri at #7. The fact of the matter is that first-rounders are as cherished as ever and Burke was going to have to overpay to make anything happen in the top 5.
Was it fair to expect Burke to pull off something magical tonight? No, but it’s his own fault if he gets flamed for what happened or rather what didn’t. His uninhibited self-promotion these last few months set the expectations high and he came up empty. Nazem Kadri deserves his fair shake and for all intents and purposes seems a promising top 6 prospect. But it’s time for a little more action and a little less talk on Burke’s part, or at least a lot less talk if there isn’t going to be more action.