Brian Burke Explains The Mistake That Caused Him To Lose Out On Tavares.


May 4, 2018  (10:37)

Just like with Steven Stamkos, some Toronto Maple Leafs' fans are hoping the team makes a run at hometown boy John Tavares this summer. While the chances the Leafs land Tavares this summer are likely slim, the team almost landed him during his draft year in 2009. Former Leafs general manager Brian Burke sat down with Sportsnet and revealed lots of great stories about his time in the league which included the 2009 draft and Tavares. Burke said publicly before the draft that he was willing to do whatever it takes to get Tavares to the Leafs. «The Islanders had the first pick and I called (GM Garth Snow) and I asked what he was going to do. Everyone thinks John Tavares was the consensus No. 1 pick, when in fact his skating was very average in junior. There were a lot of teams that had him two or three. I just felt the vision and the compete and everything, I felt he was going to be the best player from that draft and I was right. Just like I told Morgan Rielly we had him rated No. 1 (in 2012) and he's so far been the best player, in the group of five anyway — you could argue guys behind him.»
Burke said he was willing to give up multiple first round picks if he had to, but Burke had already said too much. «When I said publicly we are going to try to move up and get the first pick and someone asked who you'd take and I said John Tavares, Snowy said ‘well now you've boxed me in, don't call me again.' So he wouldn't take may call right up to the draft."
The Leafs ended up selecting Nazem Kadri with their round pick.

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