Has McPhee offered a bald Swede to the Leafs so they can finally replace Sundin?
In an interview with ESPN's Pierre Lebrun, Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke said that, although he's been working the phones to improve his team, "The ones (GMs) that are calling, it's not a helpful group. . . I haven't got anything but anchors thrown at me." I think that we might be very familiar with one of those anchors. . .
Looking at the Leafs' roster, it's clear that they're more than a little weak at center ice. They could certainly use an experienced center to dish the puck to talented wings like Mikhail Grabovski and, when he returns from his shoulder rehab, Phil Kessel. While he might be persona non grata here in the District, Michael Nylander would instantly become the Leafs' best center (unless you're buying Matt Stajan as a number-one center) and might be the right catalyst to spark the Leafs' struggling offense.
The Lebrun interview alludes to the fact that, after trading their first round draft pick next summer to their division rivals the Bruins to acquire Kessel, the Leafs aren't anxious to tank their season. This, combined with the pressure of the Toronto marketplace, almost guarantees that they're unlikely to stand pat if their slow start continues. Since they are hard against the salary cap as of now, however, some salary would certainly have to come back Washington's way to make any deal work.
Given the situation and Burke's comments, I'd be surprised if McPhee hadn't called Burke to discuss Nylander. I'd be equally surprised if Burke didn't brush him off like some dandruff from his shoulder. Still, it's better than another f****** "Nylander to Russia" rumor that never pans out.