Trading Spaces, Maple Leafs Makeover Edition: what everyone’s saying on this deadline day
The NHL trade deadline is at 3 p.m. today, which, of course, guarantees that for the next few hours the hockey-mad public will enjoy/be subjected to a media bonanza of rumours, rumours and, you guessed it, more rumours. Everybody knows deadline day isn’t about what actually happens—it’s all about what might happen. Case in point: TSN’s TradeCentre, complete with live-streaming and its own iPad and iPhone apps. Good grief.
The question Toronto Maple Leafs fans are asking is, can Brian Burke pull another rabbit out of his hat? Does he have one more trick up his sleeve? The Leafs GM has been busy in the lead-up to the deadline, selling off some of the squad’s most coveted pieces. But Burke has a history of making something out of nothing. Here, we take a quick look at who’s saying what on this auspicious day.
1. Clarke MacArthur is here to stay
The Star’s Damien Cox reported yesterday that MacArthur will likely stay in a Leafs uniform for the rest of this season and probably next. Apparently, Toronto backed off its original stance that the team’s leading scorer would be dealt if a contract could not be arranged by the deadline.
2. The Leafs are looking for reinforcements on D
Word is the Leafs are in the market for another defenceman more than anything else. The blueline has looked shaky since the departure of François Beauchemin and Tomas Kaberle, but there is little out there and Burke has little left to use as trade bait. The Colorado Avalanche’s John-Michael Liles is said to be the top D-man on the market. Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely he’ll end up in the blue and white.
3. Can the Leafs bring in a big-name player?
There really aren’t that many big names available, and it’s still uncertain whether Burke is looking to make a major move this year. MacArthur is probably one of the most valuable commodities on the market right now (the Leafs already have him), in the same conversation with bona fide stars like Liles, the Dallas Stars’ Brad Richards and the Edmonton Oilers’ Ales Hemsky. Other than that (though TSN would claim otherwise), the pickings are slim.
4. Nothing much is really going to happen
The consensus seems to be that this deadline day will be a bit of a snooze. It’s tradition that the speculation is always more exciting than the moves that get made, but this year looks to be particularly boring. The cap has changed everything, and with so many moves around the NHL already, the chances of a big splash being made are slim to none. Of course, the whole point of deadline day is that you really never know.
• MacArthur Expected to Stay Put [Toronto Star]
• NHL Trade Tracker [Globe and Mail]
• NHL trade deadline day live blog [Globe and Mail]
• Heading for a drowsy trade deadline day [Globe and Mail]
• It’s Christmas Day for puckheads [Globe and Mail]
• Running Diary: The 2011 NHL trade deadline [National Post]
• Lots of players in play as trade deadline looms [TSN.ca]