It’s been a slow past few months here at RobTheHockeyGuy, but we are BACK! Though the season isn’t scheduled to start until January 19th, we have actual hockey news to talk about! And none more interesting than the news out of Toronto today: Brian Burke has been fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
This is a Canucks blog, so I won’t spend too much time analyzing Burke’s failure in Toronto, or the timing of this move. I’ll just say this: when you are in the beginning of a rebuilding program, you don’t trade away multiple first round picks. If Burke never made the Phil Kessel trade, their future would be a lot brighter and he might still be the general manager of the Leafs.
So how does this move affect the Canucks? Well, as you may know, Brian Burke is a stubborn fellow. He is also a hot headed fellow. Those two traits will assuredly affect trying to trade with adversary Mike Gillis to acquire a player with the type of long contract that he has criticized. I’m speaking of course about Roberto Luongo, who has been rumoured to be heading to Toronto.
Getting a deal done with Burke and Gillis was always going to be difficult. Getting a deal done with Dave Nonis and Mike Gillis? That should be smoother. It should also be smoother given that we know that Dave Nonis loves Roberto Luongo.
So what can the Canucks get for Luongo? That’s uncertain. With Brian Burke at the helm, Jake Gardiner was rumoured to be off-limit. With Dave Nonis? Who knows.
The latest rumour is that the Canucks tried to acquire Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri. Burke of course balked at this, and we can always dream that Dave Nonis would be in favour of that deal. Personally, I don’t think Gardiner will be part of the deal.
I do think the Leafs will eventually acquire Luongo though, and it’ll probably look similar to the rumoured deal from Sportsnet’s John Shannon. That deal rumour was believed to involve Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak.
When I first looked at the possibility of Luongo heading to Toronto in June, the Leafs d-men were the target of my affection. Luke Schenn seemed like the most likely possibility, but he has since been traded to Philadelphia. Carl Gunnarsson is still around though, and he would fit in well with the Canucks. He’s only 26, he’s cheap, and he was second in ice time with the Leafs last year. He alone won’t be enough to make the deal, but he could be a piece.
Still, if the best Mike Gillis can do before the start of the season is Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak, I think he has to pull the trigger on the deal. It’s not ideal, but they have to try and get the best deal possible and move on. Keeping both goalies and the sideshow that accompanies it just isn’t a smart move.