While never as successful as Montreal Stanley Cup wise, Toronto is a huge pressure cooker of a market. Fans there truly want success. Burke was expected to fulfill that.
There certainly are not any money issues in Toronto as they are supported extremely well. Their teams of the last few years have been near the top of the cap heap, but they stubbornly refuse to win or even make the play offs. Last year’s rewarding of Ron Wilson with a new contract and then dismissing him was not a good looking move either.
Fans were expecting a big name addition this off season and so far Mr. Burke has failed them. The reality is that the current team is not a Cup contender. In reality the best thing the franchise could do would be to tank and rejuvenate. They do have some good assets, but still are missing some key ingredients. Ingredients they won’t get by making some band aid trades for goalies like Roberto Luongo who have never made the cut in the play offs. Toronto is not missing that one key piece. It’s missing a bunch.
The only trade made this off season was ridding themselves of one of their best defense men for an injury prone winger that they want to shift to Centre. That’s going backwards.
The problem for Brian Burke is that tanking this season surely will lead to his ejection from the GM seat which means some desperate measures will probably be on the menu for the Leaf Nation.
Anyone missing Cliff Fletcher yet?
We would’ve been even worse without the kessel deal when it happened, you can say that the deal “left us missing the playoffs each year”. Also people forget that when you have one of the youngest teams In the league, sometimes time alone is all that’s needed for players to develop, not necessarily bringing in new players. Don’t get me wrong, I think this team could do with a big playmaking first line center and a veteran goalie (though I still think reimers the real deal give the poor guy a chance), but who knows.. Kadri is working out with Gary roberts and just might turn some heads as a center while JVR is a big body that played center when he was younger.. You can’t count him out because centering kessel and lupul with the chemistry that the two already have would just make a potential centers job that much easier…
At the end of the day, I respect the fact that leaf fans like myself are impatient for success, but only the intelligent people that actually break down each individual move Burke has done as oppose to rating his success as our gm by how many playoff appearances we’ve made can really see that he’s done a great job with the kessel trade and the Ron Wilson bit being the only mistakes he made with we’re very understandable while the Wilson bit was the only certain mistake. At the time we made the kessel trade, Burke should have been able to identify that even with kessel, our team was shit enough to possibly make the next 2 years first rounders + 2nd rounder very valuable. That being said, when you have a fifth overall pick such as kessel at 20 years old scoring nearly 40 goals (likely 40 if he played full season rather then 70games) then the trade is quite understandable. As for Ronnie Wilson, obviously Burke was close with him and thought the Wilson’s fast break offense would work with players like kessel, but I think that it would have worked out with more fast skaters with good hands like gardiner Kadri rielly etc developed. A large number of trades pre Burke set us back like the raycroft/rask, Nolan/couture etc and we were stuck with enough shitty contracts to have just enough talet for us to think that we were good enough to not rebuild
You can’t say*
Toronto is a useless team never to win again. Go Habs!
There’s a lot of teams competing, lots of luck involved. His love affair with toughness wasted some time, guys like Komisarek were miscalculations.
You are a Leaf hating tool. I usually don’t get sucked in to commenting on these useless articles but this one isbjustbso obviously written by a smart ass leaf hating Habs fan. Leave us and our awesome franchise and all our fans and support alone. We’ll be just fine . See you all Oct 13.
The Writer of this article is a pure genius (because he’s right). Thank you for telling it, not how it should be, but how it actually is: Brian Burke has been a failure, cindered by that putrid Phil Kessel deal.
Ivan Westra is an absolute idiot. The Phil Kessel deal was good? Haha, what an idiot! I’m the biggest Leaf Fan there is, but don’t tell me that Tyler Seguin ( a team identifier and rebuilding chip) is better than scapegoat Phil! You are a wackjob if you think that that and the rest of BB’s moves have been up to standard up until now.
Bottom line is if the Leafs don’t make the play offs this year Mr. Burke is done and sadly what it will take to make that happen will most likely not be what’s best for the future of the franchise.
Mr. Burke needs what happened in Ottawa last year happen in Toronto this year and that’s quite a feat.
Kyle alomar you are idiot, the trade wasn’t kessel for seguin, Hamilton and Jared knight straight up it was kessel for three high draft picks. A few bounces/injuries going differently during that season prior and things could have been totally different. Read over your message too u moron as you said “dont tell me seguin is better then Phil” when you’re clearly on seguins junk. Obviously the way it turned out it appears that we lost the trade even if kessel ends up scoring 40 a year just because seguins gonna be amazing and we also gave up a future stud d in Hamilton and potential in knight . Besides the kessel trade, Ron Wilson experiment and a few signings like Connolly and komisarek, we won every trade we made. You said you’re the “biggest leaf fan ever” but failed to credit Burke for flipping 4 pieces of garbage for phaneuf and now carter Ashton, or Beauchemin for lupul and Gardiner! Not to mention the fact that biggest leaf fans ever” should be able to realize that if you include the kaberle trade with Boston then the net of that trade was Tyler seguin, dougie Hamilton Jared knight and Tomas kaberle for Phil kessel, Joe Colborne, John Michael liles (traded for 2nd round pick from kaberle, and Stuart Percy, potential top 4 defenseman drafted late first round. If you sum it all up your be stupid to state who won the trade as there’s still years of potential in players to find out for sure. Even if Boston ends up winning in the end, it may not be by as much as it seems. Go home Alomar a stop riding other people’s d’s. When the leafs are successful go do why your type do and act like you had faith in the team all along and go have a fake celebration with the real fans.
If I was GM of Toronto Maple Leafs, I wouldn’t change a thing. As long as fans are willing to pay top dollar to see low quality hockey, why spend more money. Owners are happy, banks are happy, seats are sold, finances are the best in the league. It’s about money, not hockey. I’ll watch the River Kings this year.
Not me. I’ll not watch either and after Mitch from River Kings behaved I probably won’t cover them at all. Pretty sad for a new team to get no coverage from the number one media in the area….
Phaneuf is the most over rated defenceman in hockey history, pfft-haneuf
I have supported the leafs all my life, but it’s time to fire Burke and build through the draft. Yes it takes time, but Edmonton took that route and look what they have. They will be a deadly team. In order to win a Stanley cup you need a number one pick or two, not the 5th or 7th pick. They do the same thing every year. They’re great out of the gate, then fall out of contention close to the end. Then just when you think they might get a decent pick, they win the last couple of games and we end up with the 5th or higher pick.. B.S..