Are The Maple Leafs Any Better This Week?

What a difference a week makes, or does it? Last Saturday night, Leaf Nation was comforted by the fact that free agency had yet to start, therefore Brian Burke’s inactivity at the draft wasn’t such a big deal. Just wait till Wednesday. Well, while Burke made a few tweaks on Wednesday, he has been prrrrreeeeeeetttttttty quiet (insert Larry David voice here) since. Once again, I don’t think the moves he has made are insignificant, rather I think that the hype which he caused created unrealistic expectations. So in reading some message boards, and listening to radio shows I can fully understand the frustration that folks are feeling. I truly get the sense that folks expected Burke to sprinkle magic dust and many of the franchises woes would have been cured. That doesn’t appear to have happened.

I loved Berger’s blog tonight. This whole, we are sunk notion because Rick Nash didn’t wait for his UFA year to sign here. I love how Howie points blame at the fans of the team (which he is numero UNO) for being loyal (to a fault), even to the point where we are to blame for the teams demise. What I love the most is that Howie spews on about the right way to build a team is throgh the draft. Well, history shows that if you are going to build from the draft you have to bottom out to get that franchise player. I have no problem with that notion. Tank Nation here we go. What I do have a problem with his Howie’s mid season shitting on the whole idea of Tank Nation. So I get this straight, we aren’t supposed to hope the Leafs go after the best available free agents because that isn’t the way to build. Got it. But we arent’ supposed to hope they totally bottom out either because what the hell are fans doing rooting against their team? You can’t have it both ways. What is left is simply rooting for the team, which of course we get shit on for in general terms.

If the season started tomorrow, I don’t know how many more games the Leafs would win. The team is tougher, but are they better? the one place they needed a clear ugrade is in net. So far we have rehabbing Toskala and tendered Pogge. Feel better yet? Love or hate Kubina, he ate a ton of minutes and could play the pp. Have the folks brought in captured the void? Time wll tell. It’s still early, so I think we need to wait a bit before we panic.

You have to think that any progress Burke was makinh anywhere has come to a complete halt while the les affairs Blackhawk gets decided. The folks I talked to said the issue is black and white. Those who are supposed to get the offers via fan or courier as dictated in the CBA DIDN’t. The penalty is supposed to be clear cut. The NHL is in a bad spot as the Blackhawks don’t have the cap space required to pay all the guys the going rate. I totally beleive that all GM’s who are shopping have hit the pause button to see where this goes. IF any of these guys become UFA’s there are some serious catched there that will cause created cap planning.

So, one week later we aren’t really that much farther ahead are we? Pressure is on Burke. This is clearly his team and there’s much work to do.



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July 5, 2009 12:37 am

I don’t get why people are complaining. We all begged MLSE to get a good GM (which they did) and build slowly (which they are doing), through the draft and through signings which make sense to the long term plan. Would leafs nation have preferred we go out and overpay for mediocre top 6 forwards like Montreal did? I don’t think so. We have to be patient.

July 5, 2009 3:31 am

Berger is a huge boyhood Leaf fan. He thinks that as a media memeber he has to be objective, which he can’t since he loves the Leafs. To cover for this he perpetually bashes the team with his trademark condescension so that he can’t be accused of being a homer.

It’s painful to listen to because his inner conflict is so obvious to the rest of us. The FAN should look for some new blood.

the Meatriarchy
July 5, 2009 9:37 am

that Berger post was such a rip off of DGB’s post on Dany Heatley earlier this week.

Typical Berger tho to take something that should have been funny and turn it into a cheap shot at leafs fans.

And you thought it was a great post? Shame


[…] Are The Maple Leafs Any Better This Week? Toronto Sports Media […]

July 5, 2009 11:59 am

Burke has done a masterful job to this point. He’s slowly added talent since coming on board, without compromising our future in any way. We’re bigger, stronger, and tougher and have maintained last year’s decent offense. Hansen, Bozak, Kadri, Komi, Exelby, Orr, & possibly The Monster. All this and we only sacrificed Kubina, while only costing a little in salary cap space. Now to get rid of Stajan, Poni, Stempniak, and Kaberle (only because of his high trade value). As one other poster mentioned, would you rather Burke had signed Gaborik & Gionta/Cammy & jammed us up against the cap? Plain & Simple….if Rick Nash was available – get it done regardless of the cost. But this year’s crop of high-end talent were not the type you build a team around….so why spend the cap space?
Job well done Burkie……oh we’re gonna demo the Habs this year!

July 5, 2009 4:22 pm

Surely we can laugh at ourselves,ok, Howie’s little hand puppet opera was an attempt to work out his own personal demons,but why can’t we encourage his bravery in seeking therapy?

July 5, 2009 9:08 pm

Do you really see Burke sticking his nose into this Chicago fiasco?

You’d think a guy who happens to be so against using offer sheets, wouldn’t be the one to try and outbid and screw over a team over a paperwork error.

Then again… Burkie has been somewhat hypocritical in the past…

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