Have you ever wondered what it would have been like if the Leafs had drafted Victor Hedman
in 2009? It was a lot closer to happening than you might think.
Former Leafs GM Reveals Chance To Draft Hedman In 2009
As we all know, acquiring true number one defensemen is very difficult in today's NHL. For most teams, they only get the chance to do so at the draft. The most elite defensemen in the league are even more difficult to find, and it often involves a bit of luck. Now we know about one chance the Leafs had to acquire one of these kinds of blueliners.
A new video of former Leafs general manager Brian Burke was released today in which he is heard saying that the Tampa Bay Lightning were heavily looking to trade the 2nd overall pick in the 2009 draft to the Maple Leafs. Apparently part of the ask was the 5th overall pick from the previous year, Luke Schenn
Brian Burke refusing to include Luke Schenn
in a potential trade for Victor Hedman
The Lightning went on to steal the Leafs colours and win multiple Stanley Cups 😤
Lighting Offer 2nd Overall Pick For Schenn, Leafs Say No
What could have been if the Leafs had accepted this trade? Who knows. What we do know though, is that Burke refusing to make this trade specifically because of Luke Schenn
does look pretty bad in hindsight. Schenn has been a perfectly serviceable defenseman throughout his career, but he's never really amounted to much more than that. He's played nearly 1000 games in the NHL so far, which is certainly a rare accomplishment, but Victor Hedman
's career has been a bit more exciting.
The 6'7" Swedish blueliner has had quite the illustrious career. Like Schenn, he is also close to playing 1000 games in the NHL, a mark he is due to hit in just two games. In those 998 games so far he's scored 147 goals and 676 points, a far cry from Schenn's 191 career points. In that time he's also won two Stanley Cups, winning the Conn Smythe in 2020. He's a six-time all-star and he won the Norris trophy in 2017-18. By all accounts, he could be on pace for a hall of fame career.
It is unclear what else the Lightning were asking for in addition to Schenn, but whatever it was likely would not have closed the gap in value between these two players. Burke made a mistake when he did not pull the trigger on this trade in 2009.
As seen on Former Leafs GM Confirmed to Have Turned Down Trade for Norris Winner