Toronto Maple Leafs: A Letter To General Manager Brian Burke

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IMay 28, 2010

TORONTO - JANUARY 5:  Luke Schenn #2 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates away as the Florida Panthers celebrate Bryan McCabe goal during game action January 5, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

Over the past year and a half, Brian Burke has made many interesting decisions for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His best known transaction had to be the Phil Kessel trade. However, the little things, like signing players out of college (i.e. Tyler Bozak), from overseas (Jonas Gustavsson), and drafting well (Nazem Kadri) have all turned out great for Toronto.

Those little moves eventually pay off if the right moves are made.

Take the Chicago Blackhawks, for example.

The Blackhawks went through many years of on ice, management, and fan turmoil. But now they're in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Hawks made it there by doing exactly what the Maple Leafs are executing now, risky moves and great drafting.

The Hawks took Jonathan Toews, now the team captain and league leading scorer in the playoffs, third overall in 2006, and Patrick Kane, team leading scorer in the regular season, first overall in 2007.

So, without further ado, a letter to Brian Burke.


Dear Mr. Burke,

You have done a very interesting, yet quality job since joining the Toronto Maple Leafs' organization.

As a fan, on behalf of all Maple Leafs fans, I would like to thank you for your contributions.

However, there are still many things that we want to see. Most notably is a top line centre.

As you know, the Leafs have needed a top line centre since Mats Sundin left for Vancouver.

Even though Phil (Kessel) scored 30 goals in just 70 games last season, I think he can exceed those stats with a better playmaker by his side.

Speaking of a top line centre, how about trade bait.

Who would you use to help reel a team into giving us a performer who could play with Kessel? 

How about Tomas Kaberle?

I know that you don't want to entertain that idea. But there is that window in which you can trade him during the draft. Would you consider taking advantage of that?

What about Luke Schenn?

I've heard about Schenn being on the trading block. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing him go.

After a strong rookie season, he seemed to struggle more than expected last year. It does, however, appear that you could still get very good value for the young defenseman.

As I am sure you know, having won a Stanley Cup, teams aren't just built around trades.

With that being said, how do you plan on tackling free agency this offseason?

There are many potential "Brian Burke type players" out there in free agency this summer.

One of those guys is David Clarkson.

Personally, I've wanted Clarkson on the team for a while now. So have many other die hard Leafs fans. Clarkson, a Toronto native, is a very hard worker. He'd fit in great with the Leafs organization.

As we all know, the Maple Leafs are the richest team in the league.

Unfortunately, that's mostly due to large companies buying tickets for company functions, as a way of impressing clients, etc. This drags down the amount of true fans at home games.

That must be one of the reasons why the Air Canada Centre never seems to be so loud, and definitely not as loud as the Bell Centre in Montreal.

If you watch a Montreal game, which I know you have watched many of, you should be able to see that more than 97 percent of the attendees are true, full-out Habs fans. They cheer loudly, they wave their towels, and they are into the game from start to finish.

Hopefully, Mr. Burke, you can bring the Maple Leafs back to their greatness of the mid 1900's.




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