NHL Trade Rumors: Is Ryan Getzlaf the Answer the Maple Leafs Need at Centre?

Matthew SookramContributor IIJanuary 5, 2012

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 19:  Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center on December 19, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

A report issued early this morning in the Toronto Star suggests the Anaheim Ducks are very close to cleaning their house. GM Bob Murray has said in recent interview that he "expects more from this team." He said that when he made the coaching change (firing Randy Carlyle while hiring Bruce Boudreau) that "time was running out for the players."

Since Boudreau arrived, nothing much has changed in regards to the teams results. Hart Trophy winner Correy Perry and his linemates Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf just don't seem to be having the same kind of chemistry they used to—which is leading to a frustrated Murray.

For Leafs fans, we all know how good of friends Murray and Brian Burke are. Burke used to be the GM of the Ducks and Murray is his successor. They have made quite a few deals over the past couple of years. Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner and a draft pick are the best aquisitions Burke has taken from Murray, while Murray obtained, at different times, Jason Blake, Vesa Toskala and Francois Beauchmin.

This shouldn't mean Leafs fans should get too excited too fast as Murray consistently changes his mind about who's available and who's not, but there is a chance Burke is working the phones.

The Leafs, as always, have money and Getzlaf is making just over $5 million this year with a few years left on his contract. Why Getzlaf, though? He is a reliable, powerful centre who fits the mold of what the Leafs have been looking for for several years. He would fit in perfectly on the top or the second line depending on who the Leafs get rid of for him.

Another factor is: Who will the Leafs give up? Obviously, it would have to be one of their own centremen in Tyler Bozak, Joe Colborne or Mikhail Grabovski.

Plus, they would be asking for a younger defenseman; Carl Gunnarsson or Keith Aulie come to mind. In addition, they would probably want a draft pick of the first-or-second-round variety and then they may even want a young winger just to sweeten the deal if they decide to get rid of Perry or Ryan at some point; Nazem Kadri, Nikolai Kulemin or Matt Frattin fit this mold.

There is no telling for sure what the Ducks want or what the Leafs are willing to part with if this deal was to happen. For my own personal taste, I like Getzlaf but not if it means giving up both Colbourne and Kadri at the same time. The only thing we know for sure is that Murray is frustrated, and him and Burke like to make deals.

Could Getzlaf finally answer the Leafs problem at centre? There's no denying he would bring a lot of star power to the table.