It’s a long one so I am not going to tear it apart, but Bob’s preview for Leaf fans on the Brian Burke era is great. There is one flaw that I see, and I will get to that….:
“For as much of the bull in a china shop mentality as Burke may portray – and this is not to suggest he can’t be a runaway train at times — he also knows there is going to be no shortage of teams looking to pick his pocket right off the hop when he has yet to fully familiarize himself with his new team. So while it may not be fashionable to say it because it doesn’t fit the Burke image, the first thing he is likely to do is nothing — just take some time to assess the Maple Leaf roster and see firsthand what he does or doesn’t have. Mind you, knowing Burke, that may not take too long, but it’s doubtful within a week of being in Toronto that you will see massive or wholesale changes. Those will come, sure enough, but not right away.”
I think this is right. No moves right away because he isn’t a position to make them so these rumors around right now are more BS then ever….
“would be absolutely shocked, for example, if a hard-working, skilled player such as Niklas Hagman, who has played well in Toronto, would be ditched because of his birth certificate. But if I were a European player who isn’t regarded by Burke as a top-six forward or top-four defenceman, well, it’s been nice knowing you.”
He isn’t going to move a guy because of his birth certificate, rest assured of that. I think that if he had to chose between equal players he would pick a guy from North America, but only if they were of equal talent….
“Burke is fortunate to be coming into a situation where he has a coach in place – Burke’s former college teammate Ron Wilson – he can work with. That will allow him to get right to the rebuild.
Burke’s history in both Vancouver and Anaheim is that he wants his team to play an entertaining, up-tempo style of hockey, that he prefers they pressure the puck in all three zones and play a robust, physical style that includes fighting when necessary, and maybe at times when it’s not necessary.
He believes his top six forwards should be skill players and his bottom six forwards should be what he calls “hard hats” with size, strength and pugilistic ability. He believes in the same philosophy with his top four defenceman versus his Nos. 5 through 7 on the blueline. He also maintains his players should be heavily involved in community activities and service and will mandate they do more of that type of work in the community.”
I started this post before the press conference but didn’t have the time to finish it. I swear McKenzie posted this before the announcement. Do you think he knows Burke?????
“At this point, you could make a lot of predictions on what Burke will or won’t do when he takes over the Leafs, but I am prepared to make one that I think you can pretty much take to the bank, based on Burke’s history as an executive in the NHL. The Leafs don’t currently have a heavyweight tough guy, unless perhaps recent AHL call up Andre Deveaux can step up in that role. But if Deveaux doesn’t, I’ll bet the first tangible move Burke makes with the Leafs’ on-ice roster is to bring in a legitimate tough guy.Burke loves to make a statement and he loves nothing better than making that kind of statement to set the tone for his regime in Toronto.”
By far the best preview I saw, also turned out to be the best review of the press conference…
here is the link