Archive for brian burke

Leafs’ Drought Hits Six Years

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2011 by davepoleck

…..and that’s seven if you want to include the lockout.

How has it already been seven seasons since this happened against the Flyers?! I guess time flies when you suck. But the optimist would say that hope is on the horizon. They could have three 30 goal scorers since who knows when, they have seen their third/fourth stringer in camp come up and be phenomenal for over three months, and they have a ton of cap space.With that said, I still think they need a ton of work. Continue reading

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Brian Burke = Fail

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2010 by davepoleck

Make that a major fail. The season isn’t even a quarter over, but it is pretty hard to make a case that the Leafs are going to make a push in the Playoffs right now. As a Leafs’ fan, why would you even want them to?

Where is the truculence? Nonexistent.

Where is the accountability? Ron Wilson blasting someone in the media does not make them accountable for their actions because there is absolutely no consequence! Who is going to replace the current lack of talent on the Leafs right now? They’ve already stated on multiple occasions that Kadri is not ready for NHL duty. Way to groom and build confidence in your best prospect who has 13 points in 13 games for the Marlies.

Where is any sign of promise in their younger players? Sure, they could compete for a Playoff spot in a few years with this core. But again, who wants that? These are all second or third line players being thrown in positions they are not ready for, and are not skilled enough to be in.

Brian Burke was supposed to come in and build a team that would compete for a Stanley Cup. He has almost been here for two years now, and all he has been able to do is completely turn over a roster and make it even worse than it was when he got here. Regardless of what he says, he wanted his own finger prints all over this team. That is why there are only five players left from the starting lineup the Leafs iced during Burke’s first game; Grabovski, Kaberle, Kulemin, Mitchell and Schenn.

For me, it all starts with one word when describing Burke; arrogance. Continue reading

Keeper Draft Day

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by davepoleck

The draft for my keeper league that is going into its’ second season is tomorrow night. I can’t wait to get this thing rolling. We keep 15 players, so the draft is only going to be seven rounds which should only take about half an hour. You can guarantee that Hall and Seguin will go 1 & 2. After that, everything is up in the air.

In the wake of me potentially stealing my new favorite fan’s 1st round choice, I thought of this awesome video from teh 2009 NHL Draft where Burke tells Brian Murray he is taking Kadri in round 1:

Offers for Kaberle

Posted in Hockey Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on June 1, 2010 by davepoleck

Brian Burke was on Hockeycentral just after noon today and noted that they have received two packages for the always rumoured to be traded Tomas Kaberle. He described them as more than nibbles, which prompted him to talk to Dave Nonis about sending a memo to all of the teams describing how Kaberle’s no trade clause works.

I think Kaberle will be gone at the Draft this year. The question is whether it is going to for prospects or picks. I am sure Brian Burke would love to get back into the first round by moving Kaberle, but let’s face it, he is 32 and hasn’t cracked 60 points since 2005-06. That may change on a better team, but his defensive liabilities are still a cause for concern.

I read somewhere last week that Damien Cox thought the Leafs could be in talks with Columbus for the 4th overall pick. Ya Damien. That pick will probably be either Cam Fowler or Erik Gudbranson, both high level defensemen who are 10+ years younger than Kaberle. While the Blue Jackets do have a lot of forward prospects that the Leafs could use, I think everyone is pretty sure that Kaberle wants to stay in the Eastern Conference.

I am thinking the Rangers were one of the teams that sent an offer.

Brian Burke’s: Joke of the Year

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 4, 2010 by davepoleck

Yesterday on the Fan, Burke said something like this: “I would take this case and win at the Supreme Court, we have the best 1-6 defense in the NHL.” AHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA

Wow….I needed that.

What To Do?

Posted in Toronto Maple Leafs with tags , , , on November 27, 2009 by davepoleck

The struggles of the Toronto Maple Leafs have left them in a very difficult position going forward this season. Through 23 games, they are 5-11-7, good for 17 points. So, let us think about this. Since the lockout, teams have needed roughly 93 points to make the playoffs in the East. That means the Leafs need 76 points in their next 59 games. They have currently been playing at a 0.73 pts/game pace so far. In order to reach 93 points, they need to play at a 1.28 pts/game pace. Do the calculations, and that means 38 wins over their next 59 games. If any of you Leafs fans think that is actually possible, come find me, we need to make some bets.

I can’t see Ron Wilson being fired for two reasons. The first is that he was brought in for the rebuild…..this is the rebuild! He and Brian Burke are very close friends who will be working together come February at the Olympics. The other reason is that when you look at this roster, you cannot really blame coaching when the team has such little skill on it.

If a car has a flat tire, and you change the driver of the car, you’re still stuck with a flat tire. Someone said that, and I like it. When you think about where the Leafs want to go in the future, I can’t really see any of these players, aside from Kessel, making up the core that they desire. Right now, they have a bunch of third and fourth line players, playing in much bigger roles than they are capable of.

Hagman has been good lately, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they deal him at the deadline for some youth. He is only 29 and under contract for two more seasons at a reasonable rate of $3 million, and he is really the only attractive piece that they have to offer. As I said earlier, it is not like they are one or two pieces away from contention; so deal him for a pick and a prospect. Hey, maybe he will score 40 goals and they can trade him to Boston for a 1st round’er.

The Burke Report….one year later

Posted in Toronto Maple Leafs with tags , , on November 24, 2009 by davepoleck

Alright, I have held off as long as I can on this topic. Anyone who knows me should know that I do not like Brian Burke and do not think he is that good of a GM. Certain people would tell me the reason for the dislike is that he was the GM in charge of my most hated team, the Anaheim Ducks, and those people are probably right in some respects. But I really, really do not think he is that good. Now, it is difficult for me to say this to those who do not know me because they did not hear me say it 3 months ago; but I did not believe the Leafs would make the playoffs, and I definitely did not think that Phil Kessel was worth giving up two first round picks for. In this case, I have to say a big fat “I told you so”, because really….I did. Below is a blog that I wrote for the Cord Weekly that was published on November 16, 2008, right before Brian Burke joined the Maple Leafs. I have to say that I was right on the mark about Burke not being a guy who wanted to wait around to build through the draft. How the hell can a GM be so far off on his assessment of the players he watches every day. They are no where near a playoff team right, and have absolutely no where to go, no one to trade, and no sign of hope down the road because their high draft pick for the next two seasons will be playing in Boston. To make matters worse, those players who were expected to step up this year (Grabovski, Kulemin and Tlusty) might have actually regressed. Tlusty, a former 13th overall pick, cannot get out of the AHL, and Kulemin looks like he should join him. So was it Brian Burke’s misreading of all of these players that has led to this horrible start, or is he just so god damn arrogant that he could not stand to fathom his team was not good enough to compete for at least a few years. I say option B. Here is what I said over a year ago:

The Burke Report

                Brian Burke’s days in Anaheim are finally over. Speculation leads everyone to believe that it is now only a matter of time before he becomes the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. After all, as much as the media and the Leafs themselves think, I do not think they have the power to go to any team that they want and take their GM. Burke coming to Leafland would mark an eventful year long upheaval of their management team. Since firing John Ferguson Jr in January of this year, the Leafs have added the likes of Cliff Fletcher, Ron Wilson, Joe Nieuwendyk and Doug Gilmour to their staff. Time will only tell if Burke is the missing piece that will be able to bring everything together for this team.

But once again I have to question whether or not this is the right move for a team that needs to completely rebuild. First you have to think what the team needs to get them to the next level. Are they a couple of free agent signings away from a Cup run? Or do they need to build through the draft? I think most people would agree with the latter because although they have been surprisingly good thus far in the season, they still do not have a strong enough core of players to compete in the East. Also, based on the mandate set out by Cliff Fletcher at the beginning of the summer, building through the draft is exactly what the Leafs plan on doing.

                So here is where my problem with Brian Burke being their GM comes in. I would not exactly consider him a guy who is good at building through the draft. Instead, he has always been a man of action, making moves that attempt to make his team a winner in the present, not the future. In 10 seasons of being a General Manager in this league, he has only drafted 2 high profile players. The two that I am talking about are Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who he drafted 2nd and 3rd overall in the 1999 NHL Draft. However, I don’t think it takes much talent to make that kind of pick. To compare with another GM, over that same span, Ken Holland of the Red Wings drafted Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall and Jiri Hudler; four of the five were drafted out of the first round. Now it is unfair to put all of the blame on the GM for scouting deficiencies. However, the GM is the person in charge who should have the final say on all decisions.

                The team that he did attempt to rebuild through the draft was the Vancouver Canucks. During his time there he got rid of players like Mark Messier, Pavel Bure and Alex Mogilny and added the likes of the Sedin Twins, Brendan Morrison and Ed Jovanovski to a team that already had Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi. However, with all of this talent, the team failed to make it past the 2nd round of the playoffs.

                After the lockout of the 2004-05 season, Burke signed on the Anaheim soon to be Mighty-less Ducks. I think that this is where he gets all of his credit from. However, what he did in Anaheim did not entail building through the draft. He came to a team that already had future stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in their system, along with secondary scorers like Dustin Penner, Chris Kunitz and Travis Moen. Now without question, Burke’s free agent and trade additions in his first 2 years with the Ducks were detrimental to the team winning the Stanley Cup in 2007. He signed free agents Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer, and traded for Chris Pronger. These guys are among the best to ever play their respective positions.

                But Burke has also had some questionable signings in the past few years, both of which were former members of his Canucks teams. After winning the Cup, he signed Todd Bertuzzi to a 2 year, $8 million contract, only to buy him out after one year. I am really hoping Burke doesn’t have some sort of fetish for signing Bertuzzi because that is one player that definitely would not help the Leafs. This past offseason he signed Brendan Morrison. So far this year Morrison has 3 points in 18 games.

Of the prospects he drafted during his 4 drafts with Anaheim, none are currently playing in the NHL. Now I know it takes time for these guys to develop, but he was lucky enough to pick 2nd in the lottery draft in 2005. That was the year in which Sidney Crosby was taken 1st overall. The Ducks took Bobby Ryan, who has only managed to play 23 games in the league.

                I will say this again, I am not implying that Brian Burke is not a good GM. He has a much better record than many of them in the league right now. But, he has not been able to prove that is the GM that the Leafs need to be successful for many years to come.