Be-Leaf It or Not: Toronto's Brain Trust Headin' in the Right Direction
The moves, or lack of moves, made by Brian Burke and Co. this offseason may be some of the outspoken general manager's most impressive work to date.
In fact, the last time magic was worked so brilliantly, David Copperfield tricked Claudia Schiffer into marrying him.
The additions of Francois Beauchemin, Garnet Exelby, and Mike Komisarek to a blue line that already featured Tomas Kaberle, Jeff Finger, Luke Schenn, Ian White, Mike Van Ryn, and Jonas Frogren has easily transformed the Leafs into one of the deepest teams at the back end in the NHL.
That, coupled with the fact Burke signed free agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson out of the Swedish Elite League to solidify the nets with Vesa Toskala, has definitely improved this already tenacious Leafs squad's chances of making a playoff bid.
Yes, the forwards are lacking, and a few more free agent signings up front would have been nice.
I mean, who wouldn't want to see Maxim Afinogenov skate alongside Mikhail Grabovski?
Maybe 28-year-old Mike Comrie could add a spark or two?
Either way, the subtle forward additions of Tyler Bozak, Rickard Wallin, and Wayne Primeau have given the Leafs a little more depth, and if free agent invite Jason Allison can make the club and do what he does best (get stupid amounts of points without being able to skate), then Toronto is a lock to hold down a playoff spot in the East.
He has been at the helm for a little less than a year, but Burke is beginning to put the pieces in place for this once-proud franchise to be competitive for years to come.
The Leafs just might be the NHL's version of Hootie and the Blowfish, coming from obscurity only to make it to No. 1.
And while every good band needs a great producer, Burke is destined to bring home a gold record...or silver cup.
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