State of the Maple Leafs post Brian Burke

The news that shocked the hockey world yesterday had nothing to do with the CBA or Bettman or Fehr but rather that the Maple Leafs ownership group decided to make a strangely timed move to remove Brian Burke from his President and General Manager position of the Maple Leafs.  I think it is only fair to take a look back at the Burke years and evaluate where the Leafs are after his 4 years at the helm.  Let’s look at the Leafs position by position starting with the good and heading downhill from there. Defense Burke made some mistakes on

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Thoughts on Burke press conference

Just listened to the Brian Burke press conference and I have to say it was a whole lot of nothing.  I’ll give Burke this summer to make some changes but based on that press conference I don’t have a lot of confidence in his assessment of the team. He talked a lot about how everything was fine with the club on February 6th before things unexpectedly fell apart.  Well, in reality it wasn’t that unexpected.  They had a good record from January 1st through February 6th but in that stretch only 6 of their 15 games were against teams that

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State of Brian Burke's Leafs

Brian Burke joined the Leafs in November of 2008.  When he joined the Leafs he insisted he has no interest in a 5 year rebuild and expected he could make the team competitive much sooner.  Let’s evaluate how Burke has done in his tenure as GM of the Maple Leafs. 2007-08 2011-12 GAA 3.08 (27th) 3.03 (27th) SV% 89.3 (29th) 90.1 (24th) GFA 2.74 (11th) 2.98 (6th) PP 17.8% (15th) 20.6% (4th) PK 78.0% (30th) 74.4% (30th) Points 83 (12th in east) 89 (projected, 9th) Their overall offense is slightly better but their defense is the same sad defense we

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The Onus of Blame now falls on Burke's shoulders

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

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Burke wants Tavares

Although Brian Burke didn’t make many significant moves at the trade deadline as many suspected he may it seems apparent that he is wanting to make significant moves in the off season to bring in some young talent. So far he has already signed college free agents Christain Hanson and Tyler Bozak and is in the running to sign defenseman Matt Gilroy. He has also signed QMJHL forward Robert Slaney. Rumours are that Burke is also very interested in Swedish goalie Jonas Gustavsson who has a very good year as a 24 year old in the Swedish Elite league. We

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Why no Third Option for Leafs?

A recent blog post from Howard Berger suggests that because of that lack of moves by Brian Burke at the trade deadline we should take it is as an indication that Brian Burke is in no rush to make over the Toronto lineup, despite what everyone thought when Burke took over the team just over 3 months ago now. Well, everyone except me. Back when Burke was hired I wrote the following: Other than Antropov, I really don’t think anyone is a sure bet to be traded. I don’t think Burke will come in and say ‘I have to trade

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What if Burke was Leafs GM?

Brian Burke has become the Toronto hockey media’s favourite pick for the next GM of the Leafs and for the most part he has been heralded by the Toronto media as one of the best GMs in hockey and the kind of GM the Leafs desperately need. But what if Burke was GM of the Leafs. Would Burke get the same recognition? If hypothetical Leafs GM Burke signed Todd Bertuzzi to a two year $8 million deal, only to buy him out the following off season, would the Toronto media herald Burke as one of the greatest GMs in hockey?

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