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Toronto trades Kris Versteeg to Philadelphia for 2011 first and third round picks

Feb 14, 2011, 7:13 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals

Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is very serious about changing things up in Toronto. Today the Leafs sent Kris Versteeg to Philadelphia for the Flyers 2011 first and third round picks.

Versteeg was acquired in the off-season by Burke after winning the Stanley Cup in Chicago last season in a salary cutting move by the Blackhawks. At 24 years-old, Versteeg now finds himself part of his fourth organization after starting out his career in the Boston Bruins system. Versteeg is a an ideal player on the third line as he can score you 20 goals a season and provide solid defensive responsibility. He was a key member of the Hawks Cup-winning team last year and providing that kind of support to the Flyers makes the East’s best team that much more dangerous.

The one problem the Flyers are going to have to face up to now is figuring out who in their current lineup loses out on playing time. The leading suspects right now would appear to be Nikolay Zherdev, Dan Carcillo, and Jody Shelley. Zherdev has been in and out of the Flyers lineup and while he’s been a solid offensive producer scoring 15 goals and adding four assists, he’s found himself benched in favor of Carcillo on occasion.

Carcillo adds a tenacious role to the Flyers offense but his penchant for taking bad penalties and mixing it up seemingly needlessly distracts the Flyers from what they’re looking to do on occasion. Shelley’s role as team enforcer might be the one thing that helps him keep a spot in the lineup on occasion, but if the Flyers are looking for better and more consistent production as well as more minutes from a forward, then Shelley figures to be the odd man out.

With that many questions floating around, it seems likely that Flyers GM Paul Holmgren will be making another move in the future to help free things up for one of those players. If there’s a guy that could be moved easier out of that bunch it’s Zherdev as he’s on a one-year contract and a team looking for an offensive boost could look to him as an inexpensive piece to add.

For Toronto, it seems odd to move a player as young as Versteeg in order to acquire picks but if Burke is looking to improve the organization through the draft it’s an even more bizarre play. The chances of Burke assembling late-round first round picks in order to use them as a chip to acquire a top name forward or a higher first round draft pick would seem to be a more likely scenario. With Burke though, you just never really know.

For now, this deal is all about Philadelphia improving that much more by adding another potentially dangerous forward.

  1. dcent87 - Feb 14, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    I as a flyers fan am really exited and can’t wait to see him in the orange and black…hopefully tomorrow night in Tampa

  2. ahealthyscratch - Feb 14, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    As a Flyers fan I am pretty excited as well. And while my initial thought was they would maybe move Zherdev, the most likely move is sending Andres Nodl to the AHL because 1) He doesn’t have to clear waivers and 2) Zherdev really isn’t all that cheap.

  3. falcons999 - Feb 14, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Don’t get too excited. He was a terrible disappointment for us Leaf fans.

    • ahealthyscratch - Feb 14, 2011 at 8:49 PM

      He has 14 goals this year. I don’t ask this to be a smartass, but maybe its just that the whole Leafs team has been a disappointment?

  4. finodelfino - Feb 14, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Steeger is going to win 2 cups in 2 years on 2 different teams. He wanted out of Toronto to begin with. Going from the best team in the league to the worst. He had no support from rookie centers. Last years playlets demonstrated what he is capable of.

  5. jsarge99 - Feb 14, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    What did the leafs trade for him in the first place?

  6. finodelfino - Feb 15, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    Paradis, didomenico, and stalberg relieving Chicago of their cap problems. Hopefully Burke can flip phillys 1st + kaberle for torontos 1st back from Boston. The leaf rebuild is an ever going process.

  7. homelanddefense - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    no way Burke makes another trade with Boston after the Kessel trade.

  8. finodelfino - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Kaberle said he will only waive his no trade clause for boston

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