NHL Trade Deadline: Why the Toronto Maple Leafs Will Regret Not Making a Move

Harry Orbach MillerContributor IIIFebruary 28, 2012

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 29:   MLSE President and CEO Richard Peddie and Brian Burke attend a press conference announcing Burke as the teams new General Manager November 29, 2008 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Brad White/Getty Images)
Brad White/Getty Images

Yesterday, as the NHL Trade Deadline passed, Brian Burke made a bold move. He did nothing.

Yes, he did shake up the Toronto Maple Leafs' AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, by trading for forward Carter Ashton and defenseman Mark Fraser.

But neither trade will help the Maple Leafs make the playoffs this year, and probably won't help next year either.

What Burke did by making no major move, was effectively say that "I have faith that this current can make the playoffs." However, this is something he may come to regret. 

The current version of the Leafs that Burke has put his faith in have slumped to 2-7-1 their past ten games, and have fallen to tenth place in the Eastern Conference. While this team has played well in certain stretches throughout the season, they have played equally bad or worse at other times.

Now, more than anything, is a time the Leafs must be playing well, but, unfortunately, they haven't been. If the Leafs continue at this pace, they'll be playing golf in mid-April and us fans will have to deal with another lottery pick in the draft. 

With all the potential deals to make yesterday and all the talent available to be acquired, Burke made the right move be not hitting the panic button and overpaying for a mediocore player. (Paul Gaustad, anyone?)

However, by not making any deal that immediately impacts the Leafs' current roster, Burke has not changed the atmosphere in the locker room and has not made the point that losing is unacceptable.

Even when he traded Keith Aulie, he traded him for a minor-league prospect we won't see for a few years. If he wanted a solid roster player to help make a playoff push, Aulie definitely could have yielded such a return.

Instead, Burke decided to stand pat. To put his trust in his current roster. To trust that the goaltending will improve, as will the secondary scoring. Time will tell if his faith was well-founded.

Leafs Nation is hoping he's right.