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Wednesday February 16, 2011 2:40 am

Toronto Maple Leafs swap Versteeg with Flyers for draft picks

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, NHL, Trades,

Kris VersteegThe Toronto Maple Leafs fire sale continued on Tuesday when GM Brian Burke dealt forward Kris Versteeg to the Flyers for their first-round and third-round picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Leafs have also made two separate deals with Anaheim in the last two weeks with the Leafs picking up Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, a fourth-round pick in 2013 and Aaron Voros, only having to give up Francois Beauchemin and a seventh-rounder in 2011. These deals all seem to imply that Burke is silently admitting his rebuilding plan isn’t working out, so he’s making the move to Plan B.

Both Toronto and Philadelphia “win” this deal, but neither should brag. The Flyers are getting a serviceable winger to compliment Mike Richards while the Leafs are getting a first-round draft choice – their only one in 2011 – that will be in the high 20s, if not actually 30th. Neither end of the deal is particularly groundbreaking for either team, but both are acceptable moves for where each respective franchise is in their plans for the future.

Versteeg believes he wasn’t given a fair chance, given that he was torn away from Chicago – a Stanley Cup winner – and thrown in with Toronto’s franchise player Phil Kessel and virtual nobody Tyler Bozak on the second line. He didn’t have time to mesh and Burke gave up on the experiment quickly. With Philadelphia, he’s instantly back in the same situation he was in a year ago; competing with a top team and playoff bound.

It’s likely that neither Philadelphia nor Toronto are done dealing before the NHL trade deadline in less than two weeks. Leaf rumors are swirling about a possible deal involving Tomas Kaberle going to Boston for more draft picks, while the Flyers are rumored to be shopping either Daniel Carcillo or Jody Shelley for defensemen. Both teams are heading in very different directions. The Versteeg deal is just part of the process, not the defining moment.



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