TAMPA — Brian Burke knew the potential consequences when he shipped a generous bunch of draft picks to the Boston Bruins to get a bonafide sniper for his team.
But you can talk all you want about Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin — the consensus top two picks for next spring’s entry draft — Burke did as well before he pulled the trigger to land Phil Kessel.
“We discussed it internally,” Burke said Wednesday. “We said ‘what if the pick turns out to be Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin’ and I was fine with that.
“We certainly didn’t expect and don’t expect it will be a No. 1 pick, but we knew going into it that it could be a possibility. But we also knew it would be the 15th overall pick. That’s the risk you take.”
Burke has become irritated with suggestions that he is anxious to acquire selections to help compensate for the two first-round and one-second rounder Boston GM Peter Chiarelli extracted from him for Kessel. While he would gladly gain back picks, he’s not about to make a desperation move to do so.
“I want to be clear on this: We paid a heavy price but I don’t feel we have to replace those picks,” Burke said. “If we can’t ... that’s fine with me.
“I want to get some picks back so my scouts don’t sit on their (butts) for two rounds. But if we’re not able to do something, they’ll have to lump it.”
With nine points in 10 games prior to Wednesday night, Kessel already has had an impact with the club. His ability to create open ice and offence is something the team desperately needed, as is a big centre.
“For a 21-year-old who has scored 36 goals, my analysis is that it’s a fair price,” Burke said. “You hope that any player you take in the first round will have an impact and Phil’s done the same thing for us.”
As for the current state of the trade market, Burke says his hands have mostly been tied because of the salary cap. There has been some tire kicking but little more thus far.
“There’s no panic for a couple of reasons,” Burke said. “One, the team is working its ass off and two, with any luck at all, we could have six or seven more wins in the last 10 games.”