If Versteeg is dealt, it's either for a good center or for some good draft picks. It's been his best year so far, despite playing on a godawful Leafs team vs a stacked Hawks team, so I'm not sure why the Leafs would be in a rush to deal him without at least slight overpayment. And while his +/- isn't sexy, it's pretty much par for the course for Leafs who play as many minutes as he does (with the notable exception of Grabo).
I think Versteeg is worth a 20-30 overall pick, especially in a supposedly weak draft.
Also then the Leafs could trade that pick and a prospect + their 2nd to move up.
24th overall (guess) + 2nd round pick + prospect
Just an idea.
There are a lot of prospects out there who have the potential to be better players than Versteeg but aren't ready for the NHL this year. If Burke is giving up on making the playoffs this year I think getting a real blue chip prospect from a playoff team might be the best possible thing that Burke can do.
He can maximize his return for Versteeg if he is willing to be a little patient and let the prospect develop for the rest of the year and see if he is ready next year.
I don't really have anyone in mind, but I see that as getting the best possible return.
I also don't think it concerns Burke where the pick that is going to Boston ends up, after all, the lower they are, the better their 2nd round pick is and how much worse can they be even without Versteeg?
What is the obsession on these boards with pegging players "value" to some draft pick? I mean, who really cares?
It's no secret that Toronto wants to shake up its roster to win more games, but trading a guy who's scored 10 goals and mans the point on the powerplay isn't going to do that. I'm not saying Versteeg is untouchable, but he's a very valuable asset to have on our 3rd line, and has started playing much bettter since being taken away from Kessel (they were a horrible fit). The bulk of his huge minus came from the first half of the year when they were playing together.
While having a pair of $3m 3rd line wingers isn't ideal, it is something that's workable because Toronto has Giguere coming off the books, Komisarek who is expendable, and a relatively cheap 3rd line. If Versteeg can be used to bring in a high quality high dollar first line player, then it's something Toronto has to do. But, they cannot afford to sacrifice the scoring presence for their 3rd line without improving their top line significantly. There is also no urgency to "maximize value on Versteeg", he's a 3rd year player on pace for his 3rd consecutive 20+ goal season. He's locked up for 1 more year at $3.083m and is an RFA afterwords. We're not talking about a veteran who's going to walk at the end of the year who would have minimal value to a non-playoff team like Toronto.