Reports: Leafs could have interest in Burmistrov

The Winnipeg Jets have had a strained relationship with Alexander Burmistrov, the organization’s 2010 first-round pick, but with some chatter around his potential return to North America, his name is now being tossed around as the trade deadline approaches. With the Leafs and Jets rumored to be connected on a trade involving Daniel Winnik for a while now, Burmistrov could be a target for Toronto as a sort of reclamation project, and it’s a move TSN’s Darren Dreger believes they would be interested in.

Dreger joined Leafs Breakfast this morning and, on the topic of Winnik, had a couple things to say.

Regarding if Winnik could be dealt before the Leafs play again (this Thursday):

“I’m a little surprised someone hasn’t jumped yet”…”For the most part we know what the asking price is. It’s a second-round pick or a third-round pick…or a prospect”

On a potential Burmistrov deal and his return to the NHL:

“I think Toronto would be interested in him”.. “If you’re Toronto, that’s worth the gamble”

It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing Burmistrov as a prospect, but the reality is he’s 23-years old and hasn’t really put up impressive production at any pro level, which brings up questions about his ability to play in a top-six role. However, given the low price of a cheap rental in Winnik, this is the type of move that might make sense. The risk is minimal on both sides.

If this sort of move goes down, I could probably see a pick swap with conditions based on the number of games Burmistrov appears in next season.

Lupul on the way out?

It seems the trade winds have steered clear of Joffrey Lupul’s name so far, likely given his injured status, but upon his return Saturday night that appears to have changed. 


It’s difficult to pinpoint a trade partner in this case, as Lupul still has three years left on his deal with a 5.25M cap number, but he does fill a need for a contender looking for scoring on the wing. 

  • i’m seeing a lot of mixed reactions to this. even the advanced stats crowd is torn on him. great analytics, defensively sound but low offence. some are saying strong 2c, some are saying elite 3c because he doesn’t really produce. do we really need another “elite” 3c when gauthier is probably joining the marlies next year and will probably join in a 1/2 years? i’d take a chance on him though. take advantage of a garbage situation and try to grab him for nothing. what’s the worst that can happen as long as you don’t give up good picks/players for him. jets don’t really have any other options. no one wants him because of his “bad attitude” so maybe the leafs can buy low on him. i still need more information on him/his projected potential, etc.

    • He’s definitely tough to get a read on. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but the price of just Winnik, who really was a late addition free agent signing, doesn’t seem too steep to try this out. I think I’d go for it. He’s a major question mark but the Leafs are in the best position to add one at this moment.

    • Dan

      Totally agree with you. I think it’s a must for the Leafs to reach out to his agent in order to determine whether or not he’d consider coming back to the NHL if they were to acquire him. On the premise that he comes back, I’d do it.

    • I wouldn’t rely on a player like Gauthier to step in and be a #3 centre for an NHL team anytime soon. That’s not to say I’m down on him, but he’s still only 19 years old. It’ll be another 2-3 years before we know if he is in fact an NHL player and 4-5 before he’s established.

    • giproc

      Meh. Kadri is an okay 1C, not great. Holland, although still not clear is probably not the greatest 2C although quite a good 3C in my opinion. Burmistrov and Gauthier make a good bottom six center duo so that looks good but I don’t think bottom six center prospects are really the Leafs’ issue right now.

  • As long as he comes with a 2nd round draft pick, like Dreger suggested, it would be a good gamble to take.

    If it’s a straight up swap for Winnik, I’d pass. With the way Winnik is playing now, we should get something more solid in return.

  • I’m relatively new to hockey so don’t know much on this guy. Winnik was a bit of a flyer in the off-season, so to get any sort of production and value back out of him has been a real bonus – if there’s some thought that Burmistrov can offer something over the next couple of years and not take up too much salary cap room, why not give it a go?

    As for The Goat, no point in even considering him for a few years.

  • giproc

    I’d rather have a 2nd pick for Winnik, or maybe Burmistrov and a 3rd in the 2016 draft with the condition that if he doesn’t come back to the NHL by the day of the 2016 draft day, his rights revert to the Jets and the 3rd becomes a 2nd. (or something to that effect.)

    Playoff teams always need more players like Winnik. If the Jets don’t want him, others will jump with a 2nd pick before March 2nd.

  • giproc

    I would take the chance on him. I’m sure Winnipeg still values him though so I don’t think they would just throw him away.

    Winnik plus 2016 cond. 3rd or 4th for Burmistrov and 2016 2nd.

    The condition being the 3rd or 4th could become a 2nd or 3rd if Burmistrov plays 60 games on the Leafs next year. Hence why I said 2016 draft picks.

    Some people may disagree but what if we were Winnipeg in this situation, would you want the Leafs to just give away Burmistrov for a playoff rental?

  • Hold on, hold on, hold on…hold.

    Is there anything to be said for offering Winnik a 2-3 year extension, making him captain next year and using him as a stable, high-character piece to set a tone for the young players coming in to the club?

    I’m not saying that’s what should happen, I’m just wondering if a 2nd rounder for him is really that beneficial given our recent history drafting.

    Of course, best case scenario may be to get that 2nd rounder and then offer him a deal in the open market that he may like…