So we found out over Christmas that Ron Wilson got his wish and got a new contract. With that the onus of blame for any failures this Leaf team has now clearly falls on Brian Burke’s shoulders. Specifically, I am talking about the Leafs horrid penalty kill.
Ron Wilson was one of, if not the, top paid coach in the NHL. He is paid like one of the best coaches in the NHL and he was given a contract extension so clearly Brian Burke doesn’t believe Ron Wilson is the reason for the Leafs PK failures.
So, if Ron Wilson is not the problem it must be the players. Clearly Burke believes the players are getting a good message from Ron Wilson so either the players have tuned Wilson out or they just don’t have the skill level to implement Ron Wilson’s PK plan. If the players have tuned out Wilson you have two options, fire Ron Wilson or get new players who will listen. Ron Wilson wasn’t fired and there is no indication that the players have tuned out Wilson or that Burke thinks a mass overhaul of the team is deemed necessary. So, if it isn’t the coach and the players haven’t tuned out the coach then it must only be the talent level of the players. These are Burke’s players so if they are a failure it is a problem created by Burke and Burke’s problem to fix.
This is Burke’s team now. These are his players and his coach and everything to do with this team now has his stamp of approval. Everything good, and bad, with this team is now Burke’s doing. Burke talks confidence about this team and how it only needs tinkering but I don’t share that same optimism, The team is clearly better and is a definite contender for a playoff spot but I wish I had more optimism that there is a viable path towards cup contender without major upgrades at several positions.