Report: NHL to monitor deals between Leafs and Ducks Staff

10/2/2008 2:51:46 PM

It seems the National Hockey League has their eyes on the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs.

According to the Globe and Mail, the league will look closely at any deals made between the two teams as rumours persist that Ducks' general manager Brian Burke may leave Anaheim at season's end to take over the reins in Toronto.

Last week, the Ducks traded Mathieu Schneider to the Atlanta Thrashers in an effort to clear salary cap space for the signing of Teemu Selanne.

Sources told TSN the Maple Leafs made a strong pitch to acquire Schneider as part of a package that included Bobby Ryan, a prospect Burke drafted second overall behind Sidney Crosby in 2005.

In an interview with The Sporting News, Burke was asked if he felt a trade between the two teams would represent a conflict of interest and he replied concisely.

"All the discussions with Toronto are done by (senior vice-president of hockey operations) Bob Murray," Burke told The Sporting News. "There are no issues there."

This claim was corroborated to the Globe and Mail by Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher, who confirmed his interest in Ryan to the newspaper.

"I haven't talked with Burkie, but I have talked with [senior vice-president of hockey operations] Bob Murray," Fletcher told the Globe and Mail. "We knew they were looking to dump either [Ryan or Mathieu Schneider] because they were over the salary cap."

Burke, whose contract with the Ducks expires at season's end, was also asked if his uncertain future in Anaheim has played a role in his ability to sign players to long-term deals.

"It hasn't been a factor at all. Teemu Selanne didn't ask about it," Burke told The Sporting News. "Our players believe in the ownership here. They appreciate the struggle I'm having - it's for family and personal reasons. It has nothing to do with stature or money."

Burke has also held the position of general manager with the Vancouver Canucks and Hartford Whalers.

Files from the Globe and Mail and The Sporting News were used in this report.