No Conflict In Leaf Land

Seems to be a common theme today that there is this great conflict in leaf land on how to proceed in the second half of the season. To me that is utter BS. There is no conflict. The goal is to build a team that will compete for years, not to sneak into the playoffs (maybe) and roll the dice. We have seen that play a few too many times. Players are nothing more then assets. You accumulate assets when value is low and try to move them when at their highest or until such a time you decide they retire in your uniform. Good teams realize that, so do smart fans.

I love this gem from Berger’s recent blog:

“We have season-ticket holders to consider when making moves with the hockey club,” he recently said. And, there is much prudence in that remark.”

The “He” is Brian Burke. I can assure you they do have to think of those who pay the bills when making moves. Those paying for tickets don’t want to see a quick fix or anything done to jeopardize the future building. I doubt there is a single season ticket holder with a brain in their head who is rooting for the buds to make the playoffs this year, or at least to make moves to ensure they do. I have said this from the time Cliff came on board. Get younger, get cheaper and lose the country club atmosphere. With the expection of the Sens games, lose every game for all I care, but try hard.

Every game I watch (Sens being the exception) I just want them to try hard. I really don’t care about the outcome. I think the season ticket holder (the ones i know for sure) don’t want to pay for 1 round of shitty playoffs year in and year out.

The time is right, the guys you want to move are actually starting to play well. Throw them overboard and load up on picks and young talent. This talk of conflict is garbage. As is this talk about Cliff building a team that would win because of his ego or reputation. The reality is, he took out “cornerstones” of a franchise that were devalued everywhere around the league and built a team that is outperforming teams it has no business outperforming (tampa and ottawa) to name only 2.

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January 5, 2009 1:17 pm

TSM, the conflict exists in the fact that the players are going out there every night trying to win.

If the Leafs don’t want to make the playoffs, they’ll play Cujo every night. If Toskala and this team goes out there every night and competes, they might just sneak in.

That’s the conflict.

And make no mistake about it, the Board I’m sure wants some playoff revenue, which they haven’t seen in years.

January 5, 2009 1:42 pm

There is no conflict in what Burke has to do. He isn’t thinking am I a buyer or a seller. The board knows what has to be done. They gave Burke the keys…he is driving

January 5, 2009 3:02 pm

Conflict shmonflict…………Berger has been into the the liquor cabinet again.

January 5, 2009 3:39 pm
Reply to  pepper


January 5, 2009 6:41 pm

I found this at the Sun site,it’s cute

January 5, 2009 8:01 pm

Do you also think that losing for a draft pick has to also be tempered against our existing prospects in their early twenties? If the team does absolutely awful this year, might that not hurt Schenn, Grabovski, Kulemin, Mitchel, Williams?

I want the Leafs to end up like the Red Wings where I think they have strength in a sort of consistency. New players are rolled in with vets and they improve better than they could on another tank/draft team.

I certainly do want a good pick this year, but if we end up having no vets then the team will lack a certain leadership that can only be provided by other player mentors.

There are lots of variables that have to be played against each other here.

January 5, 2009 10:09 pm
Reply to  Dan

Hi Todd:

The reality is, Burke won’t be able to trade all the guys, nor should he. There are certain guys he will have to keep and those guys I hope are guys he wants to. Players don’t play to lose that’s for sure. I think we leaf fans over-value our roster all the time so if someone offers up a good package for a guy you do it.

January 6, 2009 12:56 pm

According to Mirtle, the Leafs would have to go Toronto – 27-18-0 down the stretch to qualify for the post-season. Short of transferring the Leafs to the OHL, I don’t think there’s anything the collective prowess of Burke, Nonis, Fletcher and Wilson could do to generate that type of record over the second half of the season.

A few other points:

Ron Wilson has repeatedly said this year is about tearing down the old culture and creating a new one built on accountability and hardwork. I would argue that learning to work hard being held accountable are far more important to young players’ development than squeaking into the playoffs on a hope and a prayer.

MLSE publicly stated that they did not project any playoff revenue from the Leafs this year.

If the media want to file a story that’s interesting, here’s one: contact the NHLPA and each player’s agent to gather all the details on each player’s contract status to determine who has NTCs, limited NTCs, and NMCs. That will provide far more useful information into the possible future of this club than any made up conflict between making the playoffs (not going to happen) and loading up for the draft.

January 6, 2009 1:06 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more. However on the last point, that would require effort that sometimes is called “work” and most, I repeat, most of our local scribes don’t like to do that. Case in point the piece by Simmons today on the apparently 250 lb farmer who used to play for the leafs….Do you think he left the racetrack to hunt that kilger story down???

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