LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Brian Burke was quite busy at the NHL draft on Friday, even though the Toronto Maple Leafs’ GM doesn’t have a pick until the third round.
He talked with several general managers about the possibility of moving up in the draft and also listened to four offers for defenceman Tomas Kaberle. In the end, Burke decided to stand pat.
“It’s like fishing,” Burke said. “There are times when you’ve got to be patient. Sometimes you’ve got to just keep covering water and waiting. So that’s what we’re going to do.”
Kaberle’s no-trade clause is not in effect for a period over the summer. The veteran blue-liner is attractive trade bait since he has been a steady producer at a reasonable salary.
“Obviously we got offers on Tomas that didn’t meet our standard,” Burke said. “We tried to get into the card game here in the first round, we tried a couple things to get a first-rounder that did not involve Tomas but weren’t successful. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Last summer, the Leafs dealt their first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft and a first-rounder in 2011 to Boston in the Phil Kessel trade. The Bruins used the Leafs’ pick to take Tyler Seguin with the second overall selection.
Barring a deal, the Leafs will make their first pick Saturday at No. 62. And Burke said he’s still got a couple irons in the fire.
“I don’t like watching my scouts sit there,” Burke said. “So if we can pick up a second-rounder somehow at a cost that’s sensible and prudent then we’re going to do it, and if we can’t then we’ll wait.”