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Is Brian Burke Done Tinkering With the Maple Leafs?

August 14th, 2009 | by torontosportsmedia

So the clock is about to strike midnight and Tomas Kaberle is about ripe to turn into a pumpkin as he remains a Maple Leaf. One has to wonder where did this come unglued. Without exception, almost every member of the media expected Kaberle to moved and for a fairly decent return. Instead, it looks like Burke was unable to get a deal done for the reasonably priced Bud. At one point we hear that Kaberle was going to Boston for Phil Kessel with picks going one way or the other. That deal fell apart. Burke is on the record as saying that players with NTC’s won’t be asked to waive them. Therefore it’s hard to see a situation where Kaberle gets deal after tomorrow.

Burke, in my opinion has a major problem. He can’t afford to let Kaberle walk at the end of next season. Yet with Burke being adamant about not forcing a player to waive their right to a deal, it appears that Burke may well be stuck with Kaberle after the fact. It says here that Burke, come next summer can’t let Kaberle go for nothing. The pundits also say that they can’t overpay for Kaberle. What’s a GM to do?????

So, if we assume that Kaberle is here for the rest of season, what else can Burke do is anything?? I mean what are his tradeable assts? Is there anyone that Burke would be willing to deal who has any value? I am pretty sure that the answer is nyet. Yes he can deal some Maple Leaf spare parts, but the question is what can he take back, or what will he be willing to take back.

It looks like what started out as a very busy summer is going to end with a whimper. Is that telling? maybe, maybe not. It appears to me though that once the window to trade Kaberle closes, Burke’s ability to make meaningful changes to the Leafs decreases diagrammatically. Has Buke done enough to get the team back into playoff contention? I am not sure. I happen to agree with Doug MacLean. As goes the goaltending, so too will the Leafs season go. Jim Ralph was on with Brady and Watters today and he said that we will know where the Leafs are going to stand 2 months into the season. I think that is right. Burke’s ability to make in-season changes is going to limited by the fact that he won’t have many desireable assets to deal this season. Come deadline day, Burke probably won’t have the horses to make more meaningful changes as many of us will want. Burke has made many changes, the results, I think will be impressive. The problem of the Leafs lack of depth, I think will be their biggest problem all season.

TSM

@yyzsportsmedia

Time will tell…

TSM

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4 Comments

  1. Nealio says:

    The way I look at it is this:

    Burke has done a hell of a job changing the dynamic of the Leafs. We got hammered last year on defence and in goal and those are the 2 biggest spots he has tried to fix.

    Is the team better for it? Time will tell for sure but most would argue he is going at least in the right direction. And that in itself is a great friggin thing when you compare the direction of the team in years past.

    He’ll keep building. He’ll keep scouring the college scene and making signings. Our draft picks will hopefully yield a few keepers along the way, but these things take years to reveal as you all know. He’ll sign the free agents at reasonable contracts and he won’t hand cuff us with retarded contracts that are immovable with no trade clauses on top.

    I say he’s given us fans at least something that makes friggin’ sense and not scratching our heads wondering what the hell is going on.

    I personally can’t wait to see how our team plays on the ice. Even more, I can’t wait to see how teams react to our new found toughness and depth on defence. More hits, potentially more scraps, more grit, more nastiness. What the hell is there not to like???? I’m tired of watching our team getting pushed around just as Burke said. I want the boys to wear their jersey’s with pride and stand up for each other, enough already with all the ‘me first’ pussimanship. I know that’s not a word but you know what I mean. ;)

    GO LEAFS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. LeafFan1989 says:

    Here’s the thing though, Burke could only do so much. The leafs had a lack of depth at every position at the beginning of last year. It was essentially a bare cupboard that Burke inherited and he has managed to stock up the back end without giving up any prospects except Pogge. As it stands, the leafs have an immense amount of depth at D, pretty good set up in Goal as Toskala can only get better while Gustavvson can prove the hype. The only problem is the offence. We might not have a gamebreaker up front but i think we will be able to score some goals if the kids step up. That being said, a lot of our goals will not be of the beautiful variety and i believe we will be able to score goals just fine by sending traffic to the net. The revamped defence with a healthy Toskala should result in a better GAA and its easier to stop goals than to score em.

  3. Eggbert says:

    I happen to think Burke did too much to bring the Leafs back into playoff contention,but now that we’re here,we might as well enjoy the ride.With the numerous changes, who knows where this team will end up?

  4. uncle scotty says:

    the leafs scored a lot of goals last year. alas they got scored on a lot too. it looks like the d and the goal tending will be very constructive back there so with those enthusiastic forwards we have i figure we will do a lot better. i feel confident we will make the playoffs but not win the cup of course. the season drags on too long anyway. for crying out loud its summer by the time the stanley cup is awarded. yawn.

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