If there is any team who is rumoured to be the leading team in the Rick Nash sweepstakes, any rumour mill will say it is Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs now. This is because Maple Leafs President and General Manager Brian Burke met with Columbus Blue Jackets’ General Manager Scott Howson. Sportsnet has confirm that the, “Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke met with Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson this morning at a New York City hotel. Burke was in New York for an HBO taping when he ran into Howson and the two managers decided to talk over breakfast.”
Yes, it is just a meeting and no one knows what was actually discussed between the two at breakfast. But we can speculate that their meeting was indeed about Nash.
It is rumoured that Scott Howson wants four pieces for their franchise player. These four pieces could be a 1st round draft pick, a young NHL ready forward, a top prospect and lastly, a young defenseman. It is also known that with the Jacket’s goalie woes, Columbus would definitely want a goalie a part of the deal if possible. Though I think it impossible that Brian Burke will trade James Reimer at this moment and I do not believe Howson would want the expiring contract of Jonas Gustavsson.
But as I look at the Maple Leafs roster, that top prospect would either be Joe Colborne or Nazem Kadri. The young NHL forward could be Nikolai Kulemin or Tyler Bozak and the young defenseman could either be a Jake Gardiner, Luke Schenn or Keith Aulie. A lot to give up for Nash, though salary pending, I am sure Brian Burke would take in a expiring contact from the Blue Jackets for the remainder of the season if it would help the deal along.
Now the Maple Leafs are not the only team believed in on the Nash sweep stakes. Other teams such as the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are believed to be very interested in the Brampton native. In my opinion the Kings are the top serious contenders for Nash because they need scoring and they have several quality young pieces to do it, including goalie Jonathan Bernier.
Source – http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/trades/2012/02/19/nhl_trade_deadline_leafs_burke_howson_rick_nash/
Rant Sports Toronto Maple Leafs Feature Writer
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