Leafs GM Brian Burke hopes to land a number one center plus a look at what their goalie tandem could look like next season.
TORONTO SUN/TORONTO STAR: reports Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke said finding a first line center would be his top priority this summer though he acknowledged it would be no easy task. He said he intends to be active when July 1st (the start of the UFA period) begins but also hinted he might have to consider the trade route if he cannot find what he seeks on the free agent market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’ll probably look at Dallas Stars center Brad Richards but he could lose out on landing him, or perhaps his asking price could be more than Burke is willing to pay. Beyond Richards there isn’t much depth in this summer’s UFA market for first line centers, and given the Leafs depth in draft picks and prospects I wouldn’t be surprised if Burke goes shopping for that center as early as the entry draft weekend.
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Burke has confidence in James Reimer as his starting goalie for next season but could consider using Jonas Gustavsson as his backup. He said he wouldn’t consider signing a proven veteran for the backup role at this point, opting to wait and see how things look during training camp.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox reports Burke wouldn’t rule out a possible return of JS Giguere, who’ll undergo groin surgery this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately for Burke there will probably still be plenty of unsigned veteran goalies available in September if Burke feels he needs to bring in an experienced backup goalie.