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Burke: Leafs have no firm offer on the table for Nash

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TSN.ca Staff
2/22/2012 10:05:45 PM
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What can Leafs fans expect to happen before 3pm et on Monday? That's anyone's guess but Leafs GM Brian Burke shot down one rumour currently making the rounds.

"We do not have a firm offer on the table for Rick Nash," Burke told TSN Radio 1050's Cybulski & Company. "That I can assure you."

The team's goaltending has become a focal point to many after a trio of questionable goals cost the team a win against New Jersey on Tuesday.

"It's very hard to watch what happened last night and not wonder if we have enough," Burke said of his current tandem. "But before you shovel dirt on Jonas Gustavsson, in my opinion he has saved our season. The only reason we're in the hunt is because of him; the reason we are even talking about a playoff spot is because of Jonas Gustavsson."

Burke would not go into specifics as to what it might cost to add a goalie, but he would concede that the team has to at least explore the market before Monday.

"We haven't been dabbling in that market," he said. "But certainly it's something we have to explore to at least find out what the price-tags are."

Burke, who traditionally prefers to get his dealing done ahead of the eleventh hour, believes the trade climate ahead of this year's deadline may necessitate some last-minute trades.

"I don't like the deadline," said Burke. "I try to make all my moves well in advance of the deadline. I think the deadline gets confusing. There's 20 shopping carts at two registers; it's nuts and people make big mistakes."

However, with just under four days to go before the deadline, the trade front has been fairly quiet across the league.

"I told Dave Nonis two weeks ago: I said 'I don't like the way this is shaping up'." Burke recounted. "I don't think we're going to do anything until closer to the deadline and we may have to be one of those people that figure it all out at the check-out register on the 27th."

Burke's approaches to deadline day in the previous three seasons as Leafs GM have held true to his stated preference. Franchise-shaping deals over the previous two seasons that saw the additions of Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul and other core future assets were executed weeks ahead of the deadline.

However, for the first time since taking over the team, Burke may run into deadline day holding down a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. He has spent his previous three deadlines as a seller, moving names like Nik Antropov, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Tomas Kaberle and Kris Versteeg for draft picks and prospects.

"I'd like to add if I could," Burke said of his approach to the next four days, "because I want to reward the group for how hard they've worked, but if it's not there, it's not there."

While he'd rather stay away from the chaos of deadline day, Burke has found success in recent years building his team through the trade market. He has made large deals with moving parts and has gotten creative at times with draft picks and salaries, such as last summer's deal with Nashville that saw the Leafs add defenceman Cody Franson and forward Matthew Lombardi.

Whether it's Rick Nash, a starting goaltender or other additions, it appears Brian Burke will be working the phones right up until Monday at 3pm et.

Watch TradeCentre 2012 coverage on Monday, starting at 8am et/5am pt on TSN.

Brian Burke (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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