Leading into this weekend’s NHL Entry Draft, there’s been a lot of talk from the Toronto area about Brian Burke “moving up” to a better pick in the draft. He’s made his intentions very well known that he would love to add a John Tavares to the Toronto Maple Leafs roster.
Looking at Burke, you have to take a bit of it with a grain of salt. He also promised to make sweeping changes, but he couldn’t even get rid of Thomas Kaberle. I’m sorry Burke, but moving Moore and Antropov and bringing in Martin Gerber does not a good trade deadline day make. However, this is also the same GM who managed to trade up and draft both Henrik and Daniel Sedin. So in other words, stranger things have happened.
But personally, I think it could be Bryan Murray who makes the biggest splash at the Draft. Well, Bryan Murray and a couple other GMs. It could be legendary. A coup d’etat if you will. And most of all, an opportunity to show Leafs Nation that we still mean business in this Battle of Ontario. Even if the Leafs can’t bring it on the ice anymore.
You see, Murray probably has the biggest bargaining chip right now. A 50-goal scorer, NHL-ready, who can step in to a lineup and provide some much needed scoring power. And I’m not talking about Chris Kelly.
Picture me this.
Bryan Murray moves Dany Heatley to the Los Angeles Kings, and in return receives their 5th overall pick and Colten Teubert. Now Murray sits with the 5th and 9th overall picks in the first round- in what is also considered a deep draft year.
Now Murray has some leg room to make some moves. The New York Islanders are in desperate need of more than one player. Even if they draft Tavares or Hedman, that team is not going to improve immediately. But Murray also has some contracts he’d like to shed, and some picks. So maybe he moves a roster player and number 5 and 9 to move up to the 1st pick overall. Doesn’t seem feasible? Why not play out the same scenario for the Tampa Bay Lightning to address some of their needs. Or the Colorado Avalanche?
Better yet, why not play out the Los Angeles trade with a earlier pick like Colorado. Now Murray is sitting with the 3rd and 9th pick.
Dany Heatley could be the impetus for changing the entire face of this NHL Entry Draft. And with Garth Snow or Brian Lawton making no insinuations as to what they are going to do with their picks, this could be a very interesting Draft weekend.
I can’t remember the last time there was this much questioning just before the Draft. With no clear cut 1st overall pick, next year’s NHL teams could look very different then you might have expected.
There is a fantastic opportunity to make a big splash here at the NHL Entry Draft, and I for one hope that Murray runs with it.
Stay classy, Bryan Murray.