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.