Trade winds starting to blow

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

DENVER -- Several weeks ago, Brian Burke described the trade offers being presented to the Maple Leafs as "garbage."

That is not the case any more.

The Maple Leafs general manager admitted last night that talks are "heating up" as the March 4 trade deadline looms closer.

"I've had a couple of interesting calls in the past 48 hours," Burke said. "The talks are not boiling. And I would not say anything is imminent. But things definitely are heating up right now."

Forwards Nik Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovsky, defencemen Pavel Kubina and Tomas Kaberle, and goalie Vesa Toskala would seem to be the commodities that might draw the most interest from opposing teams.

Kaberle and Kubina have no-trade clauses but Kaberle, for one, has said he might consider waiving his in the event the team wanted to move him. Last February, then-general manager Cliff Fletcher had a deal in place that would have landed Jeff Carter and a first-round pick from the Philadelphia Flyers, but saw those efforts scuttled when Kaberle refused to budge.

As for Antropov, he admitted Wednesday that the possibility of a trade was in the back of his mind.

Of course, mired in a 16-game goalless funk, his value on the open market was taking a bit of a hit.

But that might change after the lanky forward ended the goalless streak by opening the scoring just 1:52 into the game against the Colorado Avalanche last night. Antropov's goal came against former Leaf Andrew Raycroft, a guy he faced almost every day in practice the previous two years.


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