BOSTON — Every general manager has their own approach to the trade deadline.
With two major trades made in the last five days, Toronto general manager Brian Burke has again proved he practices what he preaches when it comes to dealing in advance of the trade deadline.
Today after his team’s morning skate at TD Garden, he expanded on why it’s his philosophy to not wait until the last minute to get a deal done.
“I think it’s easier to make the deals you want before it gets confused and before the aisle gets crowded,” said Burke, who last week dealt Francois Beauchemin to Anaheim and yesterday shipped Kris Versteeg to Philadelphia. “We’ve made a couple deals and Nashville made a good-sized deal with Ottawa [involving Mike Fisher]. So I think you’ll probably see more activity in advance of the deadline for that reason.
“It just gets confused. It’s like a cattle stampede at the deadline. You’re in your war room, and you’re on one line, your assistant GM’s on another line and the third guy’s on another line and you’re trying to sort things out. People keep popping off the board. This guy moves to a team and all of a sudden you’re stuck with a lesser alternative that you’re not crazy about but you do it anyway because you think you want to do something. We’ve always tried to go out in front and we’ve done it here.”
Oddly enough, the year Burke’s Ducks won the Stanley Cup, he didn’t make any major moves before or at the deadline. Nonetheless, his philosophy seems to make sense. Since taking the reins in Boston, general manager Peter Chiarelli hasn’t made any pre-deadline-day deals since his first season, when he traded away Milan Jurcina for a draft pick in one early-February trade and then made the two-for-two swap that imported Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew a couple weeks before the deadline.
Boston’s deadline pick-ups since Chiarelli’s tenure started were Aaron Ward, Dennis Wideman, Steve Montador, Mark Recchi, Dennis Seidenberg and Steve Kampfer. In 2007-08, Boston stood pat at the deadline.
We’ll find out what tact Chiarelli’s going to use in the next week or so, as it would seem like the perfect time to make a big move in advance of deadline day would be before the team takes off for a week-long road trip next week to Western Canada and then Ottawa, where they Bruins will be on deadline day.