Couple of quick notes:
The conditional pick received in the Nik Antropov trade is determinant upon the Rangers’ playoff success. While I’m awaiting confirmation from a team official, the pick seems to be conditioned upon the the following: If the Rangers advance beyond the Eastern Conference semi-finals, the Leafs will receive the Rangers’ 4th round pick in 2010. I’ll be the first to call the likelihood of that “very slim.” Go Rangers!
What gives with a 6’6, 25 goal scorer retrieving only a mid-range 2nd rounder? Brian Burke’s job was made immeasurably tougher by the apprehension among league general managers about the economic downturn’s implications on the salary cap come 2010/11. Draft picks and prospects were being held much tighter to the chest and weren’t about to be easily sacrificed for a rental player due up for a hefty pay raise in the summer.
The reason why Tampa Bay general manager Brian Lawson was looking to shed more salary with in excess of 6 million dollars in cap space was because the Lightning needed to descend below the league payroll’s midpoint line of $48.7 million in order to become a recepient of league revenue sharing. That trade sure was slimy, but very well played by Burke. It’s nice to see Burke’s finding innovative ways to exercise the Leafs’ financial clout in a salary cap landscape, albeit this wasn’t on the same scale of signing John Tavares to an exorbitant AHL contract with the Marlies so as to secure him when he’s NHL-eligible.
The specifics on the Leafs’ acquired picks – Burke acquired Carolina’s second rounder in the Dominic Moore deal (currently 45th overall), not Edmonton’s. Still trying to find out whether the Leafs also acquired Carolina’s fourth rounder in the salary dump deal with Tampa Bay (currently 135th) or if it was Tampa’s selection (123rd)… not that it matters that deep into the draft.