Nearly a month ago, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke assured fans he wasn’t done seeking upgrades for his roster. Those upgrades have yet to materialize.
Sportsnet’s Mike Brophy wrote Leafs fans were impatiently waiting for Burke to add an experienced defenseman and a first-line center, suggesting the Leafs GM would have to get creative to address those needs before the start of the season.
Easier said than done.
It hasn’t been for lack of effort by Burke and his staff over the past month, but rather the lack of available talent in the trade and free agent markets.
When Martin Brodeur made his brief flirtation with unrestricted free agency before re-signing with the New Jersey Devils, he claimed he’d had several discussions with Burke and Leafs senior vice-president of hockey operations Dave Nonis.
It’s believed Burke spoke with Vancouver Canucks management regarding the availability of goaltender Roberto Luongo (despite his misgivings over Luongo’s hefty contract), but reportedly found the Canucks’ asking price – rumored to include blueliner Jake Gardiner – exorbitant.
Even if Burke was willing to meet the Canucks’ price, there’s no guarantee Luongo would waive his no-trade clause to go to Toronto. If anything, he appears to be holding out for a return to the Florida Panthers.