Maple Leafs Season All But Over


“But the deadliest thing is when a fan votes [with] their feet and they don’t come.”

“Are they entitled to do it?” Burke said, “Sure, they are. And I honestly don’t believe it was a lot of them. It doesn’t take many fans booing to be heard so I think we’re talking about a very small number, but my opinion is that it’s disgraceful to boo Dion Phaneuf for everything he has done for this franchise, on and off the ice, in a very short period of time.”

Well, here we are. The end of the 2011-2012 season is upon us and it’s not looking pretty.

Maple Leaf fans probably haven’t been this depressed since those fun John Ferguson Jr. years.

I think it’s fair to say that the Burke era promised hope and as we sit today, many a fans are feeling hopeless once again.

David Shoalts has an excellent account of where the Leafs stand today in the Globe and Mail.

““You have two choices: you can trust your general manager or you can fire your general manager,” the insider said. “At the end of the day, you can criticize [MLSE] for not hiring the right GM. But the decisions are made by the general manager. They really are. Brian Burke is running the show.”

And Burke, who declined a request for comment, has more autonomy in running his team than all but a few of his fellow GMs. Glen Sather of the New York Rangers and Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils are the only others whose power is absolute.”

Bill Watters always blamed ownership for meddling. It’s clear that under Burke, it doesn’t happen. Burke himself has stated that this is his team.

The question I think fans are asking is did the meddling really screw things up at all? The result doesn’t seem to be any different does it?

“Contractually, Ferguson says, he only had to clear a coaching change with the board of directors. But as a 36-year-old rookie GM in 2003, the reality was that then-president Richard Peddie and the board had much more control over Ferguson than they do over Burke.

“I don’t want it to sound like I’m complaining but it was not the optimum way,” Ferguson said of his tenure.

Even though Ferguson was technically on his own, there were times the corporate oversight got in the way. Such as at the trade deadline one year when he was required to make a presentation to the board at noon on deadline day, three hours before the 3 p.m. deadline.”

It’s good thing they got out of his way when he made that awesome deal with the Bruins!

James Mirtle has a good story on the Buds too:

“By the start of the third, the Air Canada Centre was half empty, with fans finally starting to talk with their feet – even if it was deemed yet another sell out by the bean counters.”

Sounds like they are starting to vote with their feet doesn’t it.

“The bad is that general manager Brian Burke’s fourth season at the helm will end with his team once again in the league basement and with gaping holes on the roster.

They need a goaltender, they need a No. 1 centre and, given their recent showing, they need a heart transplant.”

Not much has changed since last season has it?

So yesterday I asked about the Blue Jays prospects, today Shi Davidi has an interesting piece on Travis Snyder. Is it time for the Jays to move on?

Happy Wednesday!


photo available here

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