In this blog I will be examining and breaking down, the trades that the Toronto Maple Leafs President and General Manager, Brian Burke has made. I will provide brief anaylisis for each deal, and examine what the club got, and what they gave a way.
I will only be examining trades of a certain level of significance. Unless everyone would like to me to regail in Burke's magnificent maneuvering in picking up the sensational shut down defenceman Martin Skoula which I believe will not happen.
In his first season with the club, Burke didn't make any real splashes. He introduced his holiday trade freeze very soon after his hiring, and that season he only managed to make a few minor trades like acquiring Ryan Hamilton, Jay Rosehill and Brad May. He also dumped Dominic Moore and Nik Antropov for a pair of 2nd round picks at the trade deadline.
About 4 months after that deadline, he traded away Pavel Kubina and Tim Stapleton to the Thrashers for Garnet Exelby and Colin Stuart. The two players we received currently play in the AHL for different clubs, whereas Kubina has been a welcome addition to the Flyers after a two year stop in Tampa, and Stapleton last season managed to play 67 games for the Winnipeg Jets. For one of his first bigger trades, the Toronto fans were still waiting for the first big splash.
In came Wayne Primeau and out went Anton Stralman. A season later, out went Primeau, and the next season with the Blue Jackets Stralman managed to score 37 points, and now has over 20 points in his previous two seasons.
So far we have given up, Moore, Antropov, Kubina, Stapleton, and Stralman for essentially 2 second round picks and a couple of AHL lifers. We were rebuilding all right.
Finally. Burke made his giant splash just before the 2009-2010 regular season.
SEPTEMBER 18th, 2009
Phil Kessel (rights) for a 2010 first round pick (#2-Tyler Seguin), 2010 second round pick (#32-Jared Knight), 2011 first round pick (#9-Dougie Hamilton)
WE GAINED - A consistent 30 goal a season player, who can hopefully keep up with his point-per-game performance from the 11-12 season. One of the most explosive and dangerous players in the game today.
WE LOST - Potential, and lots of it. Tyler Seguin is going to be a star in the NHL for a long time. Already, he has played in an All-star game, has a ring, he tallied 67 points for the Bruins last season, and has shown that he can be a big factor in the playoffs. Jared Knight has been on a point-per-game pace with the London Knights and now is playing in the ECHL and Dougie Hamilton, a two-time World Junior defenceman with Canada who should have a very promising career in the NHL.
WHO WON? For a long time, everyone in Toronto and Boston knew we had to wait and see. With Seguin and Kessel pretty much sharing similar success, when you throw Dougie Hamilton in the mix, Boston should get the edge in most debates.
This trade however provided Toronto with a young star. The fans of Toronto needed someone to be excited about and that's exactly what Burke provided them. He led the team in scoring that season with 55 points just beating Tomas Kaberles 49 point tally. Kessel is an elite and dangerous sniper, but as long as Tyler Seguin is performing at the level he is, Toronto will never claim to have won this trade.