Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Breaking news: Leafs talking trade with Ducks

As everyone knows, the NHL held its General Managers meeting on Monday. While the focus was on rule changes and the state of the game, it was only natural that several GMs took the time to touch base with their colleagues about potential trades.

Down Goes Brown has obtained an exclusive transcript of one such negotiation. Our spies caught Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher talking trade with Ducks GM Brian Burke. Here's how the conversation went.

(Scene: A distant corner of a fancy hotel lobby. Two men in suits sit by a small table, huddled in conversation.)

Fletcher: Hi Brian. Thanks for meeting with me. I always enjoy talking about trades.

Burke: Yes. I will enjoy this discussion, which is focused solely on a potential trade between our teams. And nothing else.

Fletcher: Of course.

Burke: Absolutely.

Fletcher: So, as you may know, the Maple Leafs are looking to improve our team.

Burke: Yes. I imagine you're focused on building a core of young players while divesting yourself of veteran salaries, clearing cap room while also rebuilding a culture of winning inside the dressing room. You're looking for players with a mix of skill and toughness, preferably Canadian players who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty and can adapt to a hard-nosed, playoff style approach. Oh, and stockpiling draft picks.


Burke: I know that's what I would do if I was in your shoes.

Fletcher: Oddly enough, that's exactly what we're looking to do.

Burke: Good to hear.

(Cliff's phone rings. He looks at the incoming number.)

Fletcher: Oh, look, Ron Wilson is calling me. We've been planning to interview him for our head coaching vacancy. Say Brian, do you know Ron?

Burke: Actually, yes I do. We're very close friends. He's an excellent coach, and exactly the type of guy I would hire to coach the Maple Leafs, if I were involved in that process.

(Cliff writes something down on a notepad.)

Fletcher: So back to the trade talk. We'd love to acquire some good young players, and the Ducks have several. Would you be interested in adding some veteran talent? Or are you, Brian, more interested in building for the long-term in Anaheim?

Burke: I am not currently interested in building for the long-term in Anaheim.

Fletcher: Interesting.

Burke: My current focus is short-term.

Fletcher: As in...

Burke: Ideally a few weeks, maybe a month. One year at the absolute most.

Fletcher: Hmm...

Burke: But preferably nothing beyond the draft.

Fletcher: Good to know.

(Cliff's phone rings. He looks at the incoming number.)

Fletcher: Oh look, Dave Nonis is calling me. We're considering him for an assistant GM's role. Do you know Dave?

Burke: Yes I do, Cliff. He's a great guy, and would be an asset to your organization. I would strongly recommend hiring him as assistant to your new GM, whoever that should happen to be.

(Cliff writes something down on a notepad.)

Fletcher: So anyway... we have several players available. You've taken a look at our roster. Any interest in these guys?

Burke: To be honest, I'm not a big fan of most of them. Especially McCabe and Blake. I would not be interested in having these players on my roster. If they did somehow wind up on my team, I would probably make it a priority to move them immediately, in any way I could. I also wouldn't be interested in guys like Bell or Raycroft, although I imagine they'll be sent to the minors soon.

Fletcher: I imagine they will.

Burke: On the other hand, I like Kaberle. But I'm sure he's not available. He's probably untouchable, isn't he Cliff?

Fletcher: Yes he is, Brian.

(Gary Bettman walks by, spots Burke and Fletcher talking, and scurries over.)

Bettman: Hey! What are you guys talking about?

Burke: Just two GMs engaging in some friendly trade talk, Gary.

Fletcher: Nothing more.

Burke: Why? What did you think it was?

Bettman (suspicious): I'm watching you.

Fletcher: Hey Gary, I think they're showing an old NBA game on ESPN Classic over at the bar.

Bettman: Really? Oh goodie!

(Bettman hops up and down, claps his hands and scurries away excitedly.)

Fletcher: Well Brian, I'd love to continue this conversation, but I'm afraid I'm very busy. I have to call Ron Wilson and Dave Nonis, and then work on trading McCabe and Blake while focusing on acquiring youth and draft picks. I am so busy with these tasks, I will sadly be unable to interview any pontential new GMs until immediately after the draft, at the earliest.

Burke: That sounds like an excellent plan, Cliff. Meanwhile, I need to get back to my duties of ensuring that the Anaheim Ducks are in good shape for the next several weeks.

(Cliff's phone rings. He looks at the incoming number.)

Fletcher: Oh look, Richard Peddie is calling me.

Burke: Tell him to go fuck himself.

Fletcher: Will do. Talk to you soon, Brian.

Burke: Very, very soon.


  1. Wow. Sheer genius. There is no chance that things have played out like that right? right?!

  2. hahaha ... awesome