There’s an interesting post by Eklund on http://hockeybuzz.com today with regarding to Tavares. Eklund suggested that with Burke at the Helm of the Maple Leafs, he might be considering trading up to get the first pick overall for Tavares, like he did in Hartford for Pronger (1st – 6th overall, 2nd, 3rd + Markov for the 2nd overall pick) or like he did to get both the Sedins in Vancouver.
However my opinion is that this will not happen, as there’s an unspoken rule in NHL GM’s guidebook, YOU DON’T TRADE AWAY YOUR 1ST OVERALL PICK. Unless it’s a very very deep draft with the top two players very close in their abilities and potential, THEN, if you have the first overall pick, you may consider trading it away for the second overall pick + XXXX + XXXX, if not….
But then again, stranger things have happened in the NHL.
I think most will agree that the Islanders will probably finish last this season, and they most likely will have the 1st overall pick, but if they don’t, let’s take a look which other four teams might have a chance to win the lottery. (As of today)
Phoenix Coyotes 8.1%
Colorado Avalanche 10.7%
Atlanta Thrashers 14.2%
Tampa Bay Lightning 18.8%
Which one of these team, the Islanders included, are willing to give up John Tavares??? A player who just broke the all-time scoring record of the OHL, a player expected to be better than Stamkos, or maybe Crosby. Imagine Gretzky and the Coyotes have Tavares in the line-up, the club’s survival will be ensured in Phoenix, just like what Crosby did for Pittsburgh.
What about the Avalanche?? They’ve sanked to their all-time franchise low (Nordiques’ era not included) this season, and they surely feel they should be rewarded with a player they can build their franchise around.
Thrashers…seriously, I don’t know what they are doing with their franchise, after all these years, and all the top picks, it seems like Kovalchuk is all they got.
But how about Stamkos and Tavares on the same team!!!!??? The Dynamic Duo will be the next Ovechkin/Semin, Crosby/Malkin!!! The Lightning won’t give that up even if you give them every picks for the next 2 seasons!!!!
The same can be said to the Islanders, Charles Wang will have GM Snow’s head on a platter if he even mentions about trading away their 1st overall pick. The Islanders have been in rebuilding mode for God knows how long, and with the exception of Rookie Kyle Okposo, the team lacks a superstar attraction to fill the seats at NVMC.
The Leafs now sits at the 7th spot in terms of draft lottery, and if they are able to sink fast enough, they may be able to land a 4th or 5th spot, which gives them some hope to draft Tavares. Their chance will still be very slim though.
But even if the Islanders are willing to accept a trade with the Leafs, ie. 1st, 2nd, 3rd + Kaberle for the 1st overall pick, will Burke pull the trigger???
For PR sake, maybe~~ But I don’t think he needs to. The Leafs have no problem filling their seats, even when the team is playing like they do now. They don’t “NEED” Tavares. Players like Hedman, Duchene or Kane can’t compare to Tavares in terms of natural-skills and public-attraction, but they are nonetheless excellent players. Keeping a Hedman or a Duchene and a second may prove to be more benefitial in the long run; not to mention keeping Kaberle for other another trade.
So, no, I don’t think the team with the 1st overall pick will trade that away, but it is an interesting subject. Meanwhile, there’s still hope in Toronto if they can squeeze into the bottom 5 slots. So, stop winning games Leafs!!!! Go Leafs Go!!!