Brian Burke blew chance for Leafs to acquire future Norris Trophy winner

How different would history have been?



Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has continued his status as the franchise's foundational blue liner all throughout his career. 

The towering Swedish defenseman, who was selected second overall by the Lightning in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, has himself quite the personal trophy case with two Stanley Cup rings, the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman, and the 2020 Conn Smythe Trophy. 

But just how close was he to joining the Toronto Maple Leafs? It turns out that the Lightning had been reportedly fielding calls on the No. 2 overall selection in the 2009 Draft after the Islanders drafted future Leafs captain John Tavares 1st overall, and that the Lightning wanted defenseman Luke Schenn and the 7th overall pick (used to take Nazem Kadri) from the Leafs in exchange for the pick. 

Take a look at former Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke's perspective on the issue and his near deal-making experience with his former team, the Vancouver Canucks, for that particular selection and what the Lightning were requesting: 

"Vancouver's made a major effort to get the 2nd pick out of Tampa Bay. We heard they offered... Burrows, Bieksa, and their own pick, those are two pretty good players. I talked to Lawton again this morning and said 'is there a deal there for us involving the second pick?', and he said no, unless Luke Schenn is in the deal, and we're not doing that."

Did Burke make a major blunder here by refusing to give up Luke Schenn for the future Norris Trophy winner and Cup champion? Just imagine how different the future postseason clashes between the Leafs and Lightning could have been! 

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