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Dreger: Leafs and Lightning respond to rumour

Darren Dreger
5/12/2009 6:50:16 PM
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Naming players under contract as potential trade targets is dangerous business.

Some suggests it borders on tampering.

However, Tampa Bay Lightning sources say the only way they will flip first round picks with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL Entry Draft, dropping from 2nd to 7th, is if the Leafs throw in defencemen Luke Schenn and Tomas Kaberle, both of whom are under contract with Toronto for next season.

The Lightning are responding to a rumour that suggested Toronto will acquire gritty forward Ryan Malone from Tampa Bay along with the 2nd pick overall for Toronto's 7th pick.

In effect, a salary dump, clearing $17 million off the Lightning payroll.

Tampa Bay vehemently denies this is a possibility and insists Malone is a mainstay and will patrol the wing next season with linemates Steven Stamkos and Martin St Louis.

Leafs GM Brian Burke says neither trade scenario is even remotely possible.

Tampa Bay did, however, table a trade offer before the trade deadline that included Luke Schenn to the Lightning for their first round draft pick.

The Leafs declined and because of this latest round of wild speculation, Burke called Schenn to assure him there is no truth to this weeks rumours. 

What hasn't changed is the Maple Leafs interest in trading up in the draft, but according to Burke, he won't use Schenn to do it.

Darren Dreger

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