I may hate the team but I will give credit where credit is due. In a time in the NHL where it is so difficult to pull of deals off all let alone blockbusters I was pleased to see the beginning of movement. With the salary cap it is do hard to make a ‘hockey trade’ that works players for players as well as making the money in-money out work at the same time is no small task. This may not be the Flames/Leaf deal that brought Douggie G to the Big Smoke in the early 90’s but not the first time these team have come together.
Brian Burke, the Maple Leafs GM managed to swing 2 big deals that came out of nowhere. What is maybe even more impressive is that with this regime of Burke and Dave Nonis that the deal was kept under wraps until it happened and didn’t drag out in the media..a welcome change as well.
The Leafs pulled in some good players and managed to get rid of some players that either didn’t want to be there or that were expendable. Sure it clearly hurts them offensively but the good seems to outweigh the bad and if you take Burke at his word, and we have no reason not to they are ‘open for business’ and they are NOT DONE. To pull in good players (and in Toronto, name players) is a good place to start. Dion Phaneuf, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Fredrik Sjostrom and Keith Aulie (who played with Tyler Meyers in the World Jr.s).
Phaneuf is a wild card as he may come off as being a bit toxic right now as you don’t get rid of a player like that just because, he is clearly coming with baggage but a change of scenery can fix all that real fast. Some say that you get the best player in a deal you win that deal. Time will tell if that is in fact true.
Going the other way out of town to the Flames were Ian White and forwards Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers, while goalie Vesa Toskala and winger Jason Blake were sent to the Ducks. The Flames need help scoring and should get help from Stajan and Hagman while White is under rated and should be helpful on the back end.
Blake was a bit of a shocker to be moved because of a terrible contract but you know what they say, if you can move a Scott Gomez contract you can move any contract. After the Ducks signed Jonas Hiller it made Giguere and his money expendable. How they were talked into taking on Blake coming back is a bit odd. Again I give Burke all the credit in the credit in the world. Remember he was the guy that danced all over Doug Mclean and conned him into taking on Sergi Federov in Columbus from the Ducks. The guy seems to be a decent salesman of nothing else.