A lot of Leafs fans after looking at what we grabbed on March 4th were disappointed, and thought Burke had failed in what he tried to do.
What did he try to do though? Leading up to the deadline he said that he really liked Kaberle and that he would not want to trade him, yet the media still acted as if he was on the market. He said that Kubina would not be available for trade, yet he was still mentioned in trade rumours. In this case we actually set ourselves up for disappointment. Never did Burke give us false hope, I think he was pretty frank in everything he said leading up to deadline. His comments regarding Antropov made it seem like he would really look into trading him - and he did.
The idea of selling for the sake of getting draft picks back is pretty ridiculous. It doesn't make too much sense from a business point of view. Why would you dump a player, and take LESS for him, when he's still an asset, and can still contribute?
Brian Burke basically did what he had too. He traded the two expiring contracts on the team that were worth something, for draft picks. Moore is a great player, no doubt, but THREE Million for a 3rd line player? I'm personally glad that we have a General Manager that's willing to make the tough decisions(I write this reminiscing of the longterm contracts handed out by JFJ after career years, for players like McCabe and Tucker).
I know there are people that think we could've gotten more for Antropov, heck I was thinking there was no way we got less than a 1st, or a 2nd and a prospect. But things have changed in recent years, and the exchange of draft picks has dropped in numbers to such a degree that it's working making note of.
Most Leafs fans had elaborate dreams where players would be shipped out for 2, 3 1st round picks(I'll admit I was one of those dreamers =P) but the reality in the new NHL, is that picks, depth or quality, are not moved around nearly as much anymore.
You can blame the lack of draft pick trades on the nations' plummeting economy, the sudden fear GMs have about their financial future, but the 2006-2007 season for example was just a small blip, from what could be considered a "normal" deadline.
In the 2005-2006 season 42 draft picks were traded. Three of which were 1sts, and ten 2nd round picks.
During 2006-2007 NHL season a total of whopping 64 draft picks were exchanged in trade. Ten 2nds, and TEN
1st round draft picks.
In the 2007-2008 season 34 picks were exchanged. Just five 2nds, and two 1sts all year.
This year 37 draft picks exchanged all year. Two 1st round picks, and ten 2nds.
Not exactly off from numbers set previous years. Going into deadline we, as Leafs fans hoped we would come out with multiple first round picks, but history tells us, the chances of this happening are very unlikely. Rebuilding can never be as quick a process as some people want it to be, it's a matter of making the right moves when you HAVE to, jumping at opportunities when the arise, or just plain sitting pat and waiting till opportunities come.
Looking at it like that I think Burke had a successful day last Wednesday. Two of the ten 2nd round picks exchanged this year were traded to us. We had unrealistic expectations, and set ourselves up for disappointment. Sather was quoted for saying that this year team's aren't readily willing to give up their 1st round draft picks, that may be true, but post-lockout, every year aside from the 06-07 season only a couple of 1st round draft picks were exchanged.
Slowly but surely this rebuild is getting underway. As for the picks we acquired I hope one of them are Ryan O'Reilly with the Otters. We could really use a guy that gives a 110% night in and night out, fantastic 2nd line centre, captain material. With the other draft pick I would want the Leafs to target one of the goaltenders available in the 2nd round to address our goaltending depth issue. Pasquale and Roy are likely gone by the time we pick, but Robin Lehner is a big goaltender who is turning a few heads with Frolunda over in Sweden, may be available.
Looking further into the future we have the free agency, where Burke has said he'll be quite active. Everyone's hoping for Burke to sign Bouwmeester, but so are the fans of all other 28 NHL teams. Cammilleri at the right price tag would be a decent addition. I'd have to say not a penny over 6-6.5. He's a small guy, was known to be a bit of a diva in LA, and I would be happy if we were the team that didn't OVERPAY for his services.
I wouldn't be opposed to bringing Antropov back and paying him the 4 million he's asking for, I think he's a solid player, and worth keeping going into the future. I think a realistic goal for July 1st would be signing Beauchemin. If somehow, Gainey lets Komisarek slip, and he opts for FA, I'd want the Leafs to be the team that grabs him. Five million a year might seem like a lot for a shutdown defender, but imagine the future pairing of Schenn and Komisarek. Scary.
Leafs fans need not fret over the TDL, the most exciting day of the year is still to come - the 2009 NHL Entry draft.
Thanks for Reading.