Its coming close to draft and free agency time and it's time to bring up the age old question! Will the Leafs ever find their #1 centre they desperately need?
In this day and age its definetly hard to find that #1 centre via trade without giving up an abundance of youth and picks to get said player, but its not impossible. The Leafs have been linked to many #1 centre's over the years, but those rumors have never come to fruition and the Leafs have been stuck with the likes of Stajan, Bozak and Grabovski as the #1 over the past few years.
The Leafs have been in talks with the Flyers for two to three years since the deal fell through that would have sent Jeff Carter and a first to Toronto in exchange for Tomas Kaberle when Kaberle refused to waive his no trade clause. This year its nothing different seeing as how the Flyers have just acquired a goalie that hopefully will pan out for the Flyers. Its been said that Ilya Bryzgalov is expecting to bring in the dough at around 5-6 million a season a price pretty high for the Flyers to keep all their players.
As Paul Holmgren has said recently "to get the player you need you may need to get rid of something else of value to get value." With Bryzgalov possibly in the picture the most likely candidates to be traded right now stand as Kris Versteeg who didn't show up in the playoffs like the , Matt Carle who is expendible on the blueline and Jeff Carter who is kind of expendible for the right price with the emergence of James Van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux as perennial players. So that gives Leafs fans some hope in getting a rpovne #1 centre, but the knock on Carter is the fact that he is a shooter and wouldn't fit well with a shooter like Kessel on his line.
There are also persistent rumors that Brian Burke is trying to acquire the negotiation rights to Brad Richards. It would have to take a lot to pry Rchards away from the Stars and Burke might be reluctant to part with high valued players for someone not under contract and who has the option to leave.
Whatever Burke does it will benfit the team for the long run and not expend a lot on a player after all the stuff he heard about Phil Kessel over the last two seasons giving up the two first rounders in exchange for a player who has scored 30 or more goals in his last three seasons.
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