OK, so Brian Burke and I aren't on the best of terms these days. I want to make it up to him.
With the deadline just a week away, Burke is faced with the task of convincing his fellow GMs to trade for various Leaf players. Needless to say, this won't exactly be easy.
Like any good salesman, Burke needs to go into battle with a game plan. So I've put together a list of talking points that he could use to try to sell other GMs on his wares. They're his to use, free of charge. Consider it a peace offering.
Lee Stempniak. No Leaf fan can confirm this.
The sales pitch: Not one of those late-season pickups who will come in and disrupt precious dressing room chemistry by being noticeable in any way.
The player: Jason Blake
The sales pitch: While many have cited the length of his contract as a cause for concern, the actual salary cap implications are hard to predict since the CBA will have expired and been renegotiated three times before his deal finally ends.
The player: Curtis Joseph
The sales pitch: Will immediately begin bolstering the confidence of your offensive players during practice shooting drills.
The player: Tomas Kaberle
The sales pitch: Is so good that some teams have been willing to deal a 23-year-old future 50-goal scorer and a first round pick for him, if you can possibly believe such a thing. Ha ha. Ha. Oh god I hate my life.
The player: Andre Deveaux
The sales pitch: A trade to another team would increase the young enforcer's value by making it possible for him to some day fight Ryan Hollweg, the only player in the entire NHL he is capable of beating
was winding up at the point when it was taken
The sales pitch: Recent history has shown that every goalie who leaves the Leafs automatically becomes ten times better on their new team. Which, in Toskala's case, would make him a very solid backup down the stretch in the event that your regular backup gets injured.
The player: Nik Antropov
The sales pitch: Inevitable upcoming stint on injured reserve will clear up valuable late season cap space.
The player: Mikhail Grabovski
The sales pitch: Has been described as "fearless", party due to his habit of making risky plays in the open ice but mostly due to his willingness to talk crap about Belarusian mob underlings.
The player: Dominic Moore
The sales pitch: Future free agent can always be resigned before the off-season, which would be a great idea since career fourth-liners who have unexpected career seasons during a contract year almost always go on to maintain that level of success.
The player: Matt Stajan
The sales pitch: Has shown impressive focus; despite playing almost his entire career on embarrassingly awful teams has never complained, become dejected, or acted like he even vaguely cared.
The sales pitch: Career sixth-defenceman occasionally plays so well that seasoned hockey executives have been known to mistake him for the infinitely better Kurt Sauer.
The player: Alexei Ponikarovsky
The sales pitch: Averaged 20 goals a season from 2005-08, so he'd be reasonably productive as long as your roster is so utterly devoid of talent that you're forced to play him on the first line next to a future hall of famer.
The player: Alex Steen
The sales pitch: Talented young player has shown impressive defensive acumen, occasional offensive flair, and emerging leadership skills. Is also technically now a member of the St. Louis Blues, so we can let him go for a late round draft pick.
The player: Luke Schenn
The sales pitch: Is excellent at defending odd-man rushes. Which will come in handy, since the asking price is your entire roster and a first round pick.