Brian Burke's Latest Changes: Maple Leafs On the Road to The Cup?

Graeme Boyce@CivilizedGraemeCorrespondent IApril 14, 2009

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)

So, here we go again.  Another playoffs of no concern.  Next year, the Leafs will contend for the Cup, and will do it due to the heroic efforts of a goalie and a sniper.  I liked Gerber down the stretch, and hopefully Cujo will return next year in a managerial capacity for the team. I'll be happy to see Toskala prove me wrong, and deliver excellence for us.  That said, I'm not convinced he's the man.

Okay - good news!  Schenn and White are playing for Canada which reinforces the fact that the Leafs will look good on the blue line; along with Van Ryn, Frogren, Finger, and even Harrison (if they stay), alongside Kubina and Kaberle.

I really liked the play of Stapleton and Mitchell toward the end of the season, by the way. Hagman did well too, but for the money and despite his head injury, I still expected more. I wanted Jamal Mayers to really shine on the ice for The Leafs, but overall he was a let down.

I point my finger at Jamal - though in fact he did offer more in the latter part of the season - for not delivering. Notwithstanding the goals Toskala let in, he was okay. Though people will argue it was his injury that ultimately led to yet another disastrous season for the Leafs.

Viktor Stalberg, a 23-year-old native of Gothenburg, Sweden, was selected by the Maple Leafs in the sixth round, 161st overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He was finally signed today. As well, the hockey club also signed free agent left-winger Robert Slaney to a three-year, entry level contract. This evening Burke will sign away some talent to get a decent draft pick.

To be a playoff contender, the Maple Leafs need a sniper, and I know a young dude like Tavares would look good in Blue and White. A few players like Boyd Devereaux, Matt Stajan and Lee Stempniak, are all on thin ice, and inevitably Burke will make way for Hamilton, Hanson and Kulemin. I wonder if Grabovski will be around. I hope May sticks around - he deserves it -and given his performance, and I'm sucking it in here - so does Ponikarovsky.

Go Jays Go.