Things that have caught my eye of late:
Damien Cox hit the nail right on the head in summing up Brian Burke’s tenure as Toronto Maple Leafs President and GM:
“After four years, this seems to be the essence of Burke’s time in Toronto; what he has said has hurt him more than what he has actually done.”
Wouldn’t you agree?
Yes, I know, making the playoffs would absolve him of everything he has said, but in the absence of that, it is his word that will haunt his performance. Has he come out from the beginning and said that this was a rebuild that would take time, people may be a lot more patient then they are. Truth is, Burke’s word set unrealistic expectations that his actions could never meet.
“But what has hurt Burke the most has been the things he’s said and promised, from vowing “truculence and belligerence” to vowing not to fire Wilson in mid-season, from calling James Reimer the “real deal” to, at least in the minds of many, guaranteeing the Leafs would be a playoff team by now.”
I don’t think anything hurt as much as his words at his press conference and those at his post season media scrums where he wrote off rebuilding or multi-year plans.
“Given what the man has gone through with his family, I’m amazed he’s able to get up in the morning and function, let alone run the hockey team in this hockey-intense market. He’s never asked any special consideration for that, and none has been given by most.”
I think that sums it best though. Take a look at where his life was pre Maple Leafs and where it is now and it’s hard to imagine how he shows up for work every day.
It’s why I keep saying it, this prolonged lockout, could be season canceling could be the best thing that happens to Burke and the Leafs.
Cox, in my mind had a good day as he followed up that blog post with a pretty damn good article on the Toronto Raptors:
“What’s interesting is that Colangelo, while dogged on social media, continues to largely escape blame for being the architect of this miserable situation, even with the team on pace to win even fewer games than last year’s 22.”
There are few places other than in social media, and the off column here and there where Colangelo is being taken to task. Heck, I asked on Twitter the other day what would happen to Burke if he opened the season 3-13.
“This isn’t a call for Colangelo’s neck. Not yet. This is a young team, and one struggling with a horrible early schedule.
But it is to question how much longer Colangelo can seemingly dance around any and all responsibility for the basketball catastrophe in this city.
Why does the buck never stop there?”
That’s a great question.
Do you remember Bob Elliott, the Hall of Fame writer? Well, it’s stories like these that got him there. Fantastic account of how the Blue Jays Marlins deal went down.