Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke let it be known that the Leafs will not be in on the Dany Heatley sweepstakes, and he pulled no punches along the way.
In a phone interview with Deb Placey and Billy Jaffe on NHL Live! broadcast on the NHL network, Burke stated that the Leafs had no interest in the two-time 50 goal scorer, largely because of the way he has chosen to handle his trade request.
"We're not going to be in on that," Burke stated. "He's a good player but I have certain guidelines on how players ask for trades."
Despite being only one year into a six-year, $45 million contract extension, the 28-year old Heatley went public with a trade demand last week, claiming he was unhappy with his role on the team and his relationship with Sens head coach Cory Clouston. Heatley, and his agents, J.P. Barry and Stacey McAlpine's actions did not sit well with Burke.
"When you have players come ask you for a trade, I tell the players 'don't finish that sentence,' because once you ask, I'm going to move you," Burke stated. "If a player wants out, you're darn right I'm going to move you. I'm not kissing anyone's ass to play in my town, so to hell with you, don't finish the sentence. My second rule is if I hear about this, you're not going anywhere."
While Burke stated that he has no problem with players requesting a trade, he was unhappy with Heatley's decision to go public with his request, thus making Senators general manager Bryan Murray's chances of moving the sniper extremely difficult.
"For a player to pop off and say he wants out or leak it (to the media), in my mind you are now no longer interested in your team. If you've done that you've handicapped them, you've handcuffed your GM."
While Burke admitted that the Leafs planned to be very active in the off-season and had plenty of money and cap space at their disposal, the 2002 Calder Trophy winner would not be welcome in Toronto under his tenure.
"As long as you are on that team, you owe them to maximize the asset, and once you've taken that step, sorry I don't accept that."