MONTREAL -- With veteran goalie J-S Giguere having put the Maple Leafs on a short list of teams he would be willing to be traded to, the intrigue continues to mushroom concerning the situation between the pipes for Toronto.
The Leafs hope to find out in the coming days if Swedish free agent Jonas Gustavsson will accept their offer over those of the San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars.
Should Gustavsson opt for one of those other teams, Leafs general manager Brian Burke likely could turn his sights to Giguere, who led his Anaheim Ducks to a Stanley Cup title in 2007. And it's no coincidence that the Ducks goalies coach at that time, Francois Allaire, was hired by the Leafs earlier this month.
Keep in mind, however, that Giguere carries a hefty price tag with a salary of $6 million US in 2009-10 and $7 million in 2011.
The Leafs already have stated that Curtis Joseph will not be retained while pending restricted free agent Justin Pogge might find himself with the same fate.
"I feel bad for a young player like Justin, sitting in limbo, not knowing what is in store," Burke said. "But right now, I cannot make any kind of commitment. Maybe we will just have to forward him a qualifying offer."
Burke did say trade talks have started to heat up on a couple of fronts, discussions he expects to resume tomorrow.
According to draft floor scuttlebutt, when Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi was asked why he used the fifth overall pick to select Brandon forward Brayden Schenn on Friday, he allegedly joked: "To (peeve) off Brian Burke."
Whether Lombardi actually made that quip or not, there is no doubt the Leafs badly wanted to unite the younger Schenn with older brother Luke in Toronto. The television shot of Burke's face, clenched in agony, when the Kings' selection of Brayden was announced, well, that pretty much told the whole story.
As for Brayden, he took it all in stride. "It would have been cool to play with my brother," he said. "But I'm a King now and I could not be happier."
Much has been made of the potential footprint Leafs first-round pick Nazem Kadri, a player of Lebanese heritage, could have on the Muslim community in Toronto. And rightly so.
Much also has been made of the kid's speed on the ice, a coveted commodity for any team.
But it's Kadri's high character that most impresses Florida Panthers bench boss Peter DeBoer, who coached the London native with the OHL's Kitchener Rangers.
"He and Luke Schenn could be cornerstones of that franchise for a long time," DeBoer predicted. "They both are standup guys both on and off the ice. The Leafs are lucky to have them."
With the recent firing of Marlies coach Greg Gilbert, Burke hopes to have a replacement in place "in the next week or so."
"Greg Gilbert was a good coach and a good guy," Burke said. "In the end, I just wanted to have my own guy here.
"I want that team to play more physical. That's not Greg's fault. He didn't really have the tools at his disposal. Nevertheless, I want a team that hits in double figures every night and hits in all three zones. Most teams just hit in two zones.
"We have to develop a style where we are cantankerous each and every night. That way, guys coming through the system will know that style."