Rumours continue to swirl about the possibility of Brian Burke landing both Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin should the pair opt for unrestricted free agency this off-season. My take on the rumour? Don't do it, Burke!
Let me begin by stating that the Sedin twins are indeed offensive weapons, and are valuable commodities to any team; but only under the right circumstances-- and the Leafs don't fit the bill, sorry to say.
The Sedins have been producing at nearly a point-per-game pace during the past three regular seasons. Impressive, especially considering they're suiting up for the defensively minded Vancouver Canucks. But while their offensive production suggests they're elite forwards, taking a glance at their lack of physicality (and playoff point totals) will prove that the Sedins are no more, or less, than second-line forwards. And there's nothing wrong with that. Nothing.
To their credit, both players managed a PPG pace in this year's playoffs (the first time in both of their careers). However, the Canucks' playoff fortunes weren’t only due to bad luck, there was also the issue of lack of leadership. Take a look at the four remaining teams and the forwards leading them:
Detroit: - Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen
Chicago: - Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews
Carolina: - Eric Staal
Pittsburgh - Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin
Each one of the players listed above has stepped up in the playoffs and has contributed in more than one way. The Canucks, however, were dependent on the Sedins (and Luongo, of course) to lead the team. I've always respected the offensive skills of the Sedins, but I've never considered them anything more than support players, or second-liners. They have the skill, but they lack the tenacity and heart to inspire a team to new levels-- which is obviously crucial this time of year.
Now, on to the Leafs. If Burke signs the Sedins on July 1st (assuming they don't resign in Vancouver) then the duo will, once again, be depended on to lead the team. And that won't happen; not as long as the Sedins are on the top line. If the Leafs were to land some elite forwards this summer (which obviously won’t happen, taking a look at the Unrestricted Free Agents list) than I would be all for the prospect of adding the Sedins to the Leafs' roster. However, that is not the case.
If the Leafs sign the Sedins, the team is right back at square one, and will destined, once again, for mediocrity. I hate to be so negative, but there's just no way the Leafs can realistically compete for the Stanley Cup with the Sedins as their top players. If Burke has other tricks up his sleeve, fine, but I don’t think that’s the case here.
Personally, I'd rather Burke spend the Leafs' money on UFA's Mike Cammaleri and Mike Komisarek. Cammareli is young at 26, and his offensive skills would help compliment the Leafs' future forwards. He also knows how to play in his own end, and he’d be cheaper than signing both of the Sedins. While Komisarek had an average season with the Canadiens, (hell, who didn't?) don't forget he was ranked 1st in hits and 2nd in blocked shots just last season. He's young and, if you ask me, would look mighty fine with Luke Schenn on the Leafs' PK unit.
Let's just hope Burke hasn't lost sight of his long-term goal: the Stanley Cup. Not the playoffs.