Burke will target Getzlaf, Ryan, Perry

 

The Anaheim Ducks are prepared for a roster overhaul, and its three star players in Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are available for the right price, according to Ducks general manager Bob Murray.

The news is a minor surprise as the Ducks are two points removed from being the worst team in the National Hockey League. Moreover, Ryan was available barely a month ago before Murray removed him from the trade market and instead hired head coach Bruce Boudreau in hopes of providing his club with a spark.

Nothing changed.

"I thought they'd figure out when we changed coaches that time was running, the clock was running quickly here. And I don't care who you talked about," Murray told the L.A. Times.

"We're going to get ready for next year," Murray said. "I think this team can be turned around to make the playoffs next year. I think it's going to be hard to do it this year but I do want them to make a run. But it's got to happen quick. Everybody knows that."

So here we are. The Toronto Maple Leafs are one point removed from eight place,---and three points from fifth place---general manager Brian Burke has a trade history with Murray, having dealt on three separate occasions in the last two years, and the team has placed both Colton Orr and Phillipe Dupuis on waivers, which frees $1.65-million in cap space. Of course, the latter point could coincide with the fact that Matthew Lombardi is back in the line-up and Mike Komisarek and Mike Brown are expected to return sometime within the next week.

It is unlikely, however, that Burke is content with the Leafs roster moving past the Feb.27 trade deadline. While the team has solid prospects in the pipeline and depth both upfront and on the blueline, they still lack another star player or two before they can realistically compete with the league’s elite.

If the Leafs were to acquire any of Getzlaf, Ryan or Perry, they’d be able to do so if they unloaded some quality youth. Of course, the deal would only work on the Leafs’ end if they sent a fair-sized contract the other way. A player who obviously fits the bill is Luke Schenn. The 22-year-old rearguard had a slow start to the season, but has progressed his game since. Schenn is second among NHL defensemen in hits with 117---only five less than Matt Greene with two games in hand---and fourth on the Leafs in blocked shots with 61. Schenn’s cap-hit is $3.6-million for the next five years. His occasional defensive blunders aside, Schenn has potential for more and has proven to be an NHL-quality defenseman. Logic dictates that any deal for Anaheim’s “big three” would also have to include a draft pick and a top prospect such as Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne.

While Burke would probably love to have either of Ryan or Perry, both top-line scoring wingers, his interest is likely fixated on Getzlaf, if he is inquiring. Getzlaf is, after all, the type of player Leafs fans, and Burke, dream about. At 6’4, 220 pounds, Getzlaf has the size to add some truculence (yes, I had to) to the top-line while also providing elite production. He’s also a first-line center, something the Leafs have lacked since Mats Sundin, which is crucial to any team aspiring for a playoff run. While he is having his worst season in the NHL with 25 points in 38 games and a -19 rating, Getzlaf has 440 points in 468 career games and he’s only 26 years old. His cap-hit is $5.325-million for this season and next.

Burke is a firm believer in ensuring both teams are winners in a trade, so don’t be surprised if he overpays should he covet Getzlaf as a major addition moving forward. If the asking price is absurdly high, expect him to target Ryan or Perry---and acquiring Ryan would require less assets. Perry’s contract is identical to Getzlaf’s, while Ryan has a $5.1-million cap-hit for four more years, including this season.

The Leafs have a solid foundation in place moving forward, but if Burke wishes to compete with the elite, relinquishing prospect depth and a young roster player for a star player is not only integral, it’s consistent with Burke’s blueprint of fast-tracking the Leafs to respectability.

You stay classy, TCL.

*I apologize for the long gap between blogs. Between work and school blogging has unfortunately been on the back burner temporarily. With a lighter work load this semester, expect more Leafs blogs from now on.*

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8 Comments

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Nice read.
Can't agree about your mentions though. Think it would take much much much more than a defensive d, a mediocre prospect and a draft pick. I think we're talking a first rounder and perhaps 2 proven nhl players. Let's not forget who we are talking about right now. the best line in hockey the past few years ( minus this year ) and ur getting 1/3 of it. If Burke pulls this off, it will be for a ton more than that. Anaheim is looking to make post season next year. Not going to trade a top 3 players for a bottom 6 and a 4th D at best. lol

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Kadri's could be something special, but I think he would have had to of started the year in TO and made an impact to be included in this deal. But hey, ya never know what Burkie can pull off!

George Prax's picture

It took half an hour from Anaheim saying everyone's on the block for a Leafs post about how Toronto's trading for all of them. I'm thoroughly impressed.

Ron Guillet's picture

mediocre prospect? Kadri and Colborne aren't bottom-six potential. Just because they're Leafs doesn't make them any less valuable (not the other way around)

Ron Guillet's picture

Prax, mark this down... Perry, Ryan, Getzlaf, Carter, Nash ALL Leafs. It's happening.

Ron Guillet's picture

The problem is that people often overvalue in trade speculation (which is why I hate even mentioning it). Schenn, Colborne/Kadri and a 1st-round pick could get a LOT, no question. If anything does happen we'll see what the return is (for any team).

Patrick Storto's picture

Not sure who Jason is referring to as a mediocre prospect between Kadri and Colborne (one of the best players in the AHL before being called up earlier this year)

If the Leafs deal with Anaheim for one of these players I see them having to take on Jonas Hiller, which might not be a bad thing. If Anaheim is going to clean house, I would think that they would want to unload Hiller who has been pretty mediocre this year and has 2 years left at a $4.5 million cap hit. From the Leafs side of things, going the rest of the way with Reimer and Hiller seems like a better combo than Reimer/Gustavsson.

Leafs need to be careful not to overpay for a guy like Ryan Getzlaf. Yes he plays the position that the Leafs desperately need, but we're talking about a guy who hasn't played a full season since 2009, would be tied for 4th on the Leafs in points right now with Bozak, and has never scored more than 25 goals in a season.

Ron Guillet's picture

Good point, Storto. Getzlaf's low goal totals have more to do with the fact that he's a playmaking center, but imagine Lupul-Getzlaf-Kessel? I'd cry. Bad season this year but all Ducks players are. Like E.Staal in Carolina, I think a trade would spark them considerably. You're right that injury concerns should be considered for Getzlaf.

And I'd take Hiller any day. Would take a much bigger trade for cap reasons, but who knows. Burke surprises us almost every year!