Are the Maple Leafs About to Overpay For Ryan Getzlaf?

There have been plenty of rumors over the past year saying that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has been trying to pry Ryan Getzlaf away from his current team, the Anaheim Ducks.

Thursday night, NHL “Insider” @HockeyyInsiderr, announced on Twitter that the Maple Leafs have offered the Ducks Mikhail Grabovski, Matt Frattin, Nazem Kadri and their 2013 first round pick for the aforementioned Getzlaf.

I don’t normally think twice about the rumors being propagated by these so called “insiders” but this one caught my attention.

There is no question that Getzlaf is the type of player the organization covets as he is a big, bruising, first line center, and I am sure the Leafs would be interested in him if he was available (so would many other teams), but does the deal rumored to have been proposed really make sense?

In terms of what the Maple Leafs would be giving up, Matt Frattin is still only 24-years-old and he proved last year that he is ready for a full-time role in the NHL.  He has offensive upside and he plays the game with an edge.  It is understandable that he would be included in a deal of this magnitude.

Kadri is only three years removed from being the seventh overall pick and has a ton of potential.  But as I detailed in an earlier article, he has seemingly grown out of favor with the Leafs organization and it would not be a shock to see him moved.

Including a first round pick is always a risk, but if the Maple Leafs improve enough to make the playoffs it is worth the gamble.  Where I think the Maple Leafs would be making a mistake with this deal is by including Mikhail Grabovski.

Grabovski is coming off another solid campaign, which saw him surpass the 50-point plateau for the second straight year and hit the 20-goal mark for the third time in his short career.  He is an upper-echelon second line center and would be a difficult hole to fill if he was included in a trade.  Sure there are some players that might be able to fill his spot, but the squad would be much better off with a one-two punch of Getzlaf and Grabovski.

Let’s also not forget that Burke signed Grabovski to a five-year, $27.5 million dollar deal.  One has to wonder why he would trade a player so soon after signing him to a contract extension.

In Getzlaf, the Maple Leafs would be getting the first line center they have been coveting since the departure of Mats Sundin.  He is not only a very good offensive player but he is also a physical force and a leader with a Stanley Cup ring to boot.  However, he is coming off his worst NHL season to date with only 57 points.  What is even more concerning is that he only scored 11 goals.

Getzlaf is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.  There is a huge risk in giving up the assets that are rumored when he is only guaranteed to be with the club for one season.  Surely Burke wouldn’t give up this kind of package without thinking that he can sign him to an extension.

But if that’s the case, why not wait until next year and sign him to a deal without giving up any assets?

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