|Leafs GM Brian Burke shot down a trade rumour with the Lightning on Tuesday. (Sun Media/Susan Bradnam)
Brian Burke went into quash mode Tuesday morning.
The Maple Leafs general manager shot down a rumour that he would send the Leafs' seventh overall pick in the NHL entry draft in June to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second pick overall and right winger Ryan Malone. The catch is Malone is under contract through the 2014-15 season at a salary cap hit of $4.5-million US a season for each of the next six years.
"I have no comment," Burke said. "It certainly has not been discussed at our end."
A source in Tampa also scuttled the speculation.
"I would be shocked if that was the case," a source said. "The Lightning plan to keep the second pick. They really want (defenceman Victor) Hedman."
The idea remains that the Lightning will attempt to trade captain Vincent Lecavalier, who signed an 11-year, $85-million contract extension with the club last summer.
Burke reiterated that he still wants to move up in the draft, and made it clear a month ago he had junior scoring sensation John Tavares squarely in his sights. But acquiring the second pick overall would not guarantee that Tavares would be available, unless Burke had a deal in place with the New York Islanders, who have the first selection. It would make zero sense to have the second choice and then watch the Isles choose Tavares. Hedman and forward Matt Duchene would be fine options, but neither has garnered the hype that Tavares has attracted.