Dreger: Burke contacts Isles, Lightning about top picks

Darren Dreger

4/15/2009 7:11:39 PM

True to his word, it didn't take Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke long to reach out to both the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning to express his interest in trading up in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Sources say Burke has made contact with both clubs, formally acknowledging Toronto's keen interest in acquiring either the first or second pick in an effort to land London Knights forward John Tavares, who is heavily projected to go first overall. In the case of the Lightning, Burke contacted the club via Email.

Tuesday night's NHL Draft Lottery determined the Islanders claim ownership of the coveted first pick with Tampa Bay, Colorado, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Phoenix rounding out the top five selections.

If Burke intends on being as aggressive as he declared he would be during Tuesday's end of the season media conference in Toronto, sources say the Leafs' bombastic boss may have to orchestrate one or two side deals in order to build a package either New York or Tampa Bay would consider worthy.

Speculation suggests rookie defenceman Luke Schenn will have to be included in the discussions, which may ultimately deter Toronto from making a deal.

"Creating a hole while filling another doesn't make a lot of sense," said a source close to the Leafs.

The only thing certain is Burke stirred things up with his "in your face" approach on Tuesday, but the veteran manager knows actions speak louder than words, which is why immediate contact with at least the top two teams in the draft was made.