Porter's Weekly Leafland Talk: What Will Burke Do? Leafs Lacking a Fighter?

Jack PorterCorrespondent INovember 16, 2008

It seems that it is almost set in stone that Burke will become the GM of Toronto. But what will he do if he does get the job?

In regards to the front office, I don't think Burke will change that much. He's a friend of Ron Wilson and won a Stanley Cup with director of player personnel Al Coates.

Brian would most likely keep Cliff Fletcher on as an adviser and keep assistant GM Joe Nieuwendyk in his existing role. The one thing that Burke might do is to bring in Dave Nonis as another adviser.

So far, the Maple Leafs have not contacted Burke, but it is believed they will hold an emergency board meeting on Tuesday. The meeting would seem to focus solely on Burke.

As for the deal, it will most likely be modeled around Raptor's GM Bryan Colangelo's deal. This includes the president role, which would give Burke total control over hockey decisions.

Also, Colangelo's contract has a nice $3 million salary, and Burke may even receive more.

Now for what really matters: the on-ice changes that could happen. It really is a strange situation.

Coach Ron Wilson has come in this year and injected the concept of speed into the Toronto Maple Leafs. The problem is if you look at Brian's former teams, he seems to favor the bigger guys.

If Burke does come in as GM, I wouldn't be surprised to see him trade the likes of Matt Stajan, Jiri Tlusty, Dominic Moore, Ian White, and Alex Steen. The trio of speedsters who would stay would be Nik Kulemin, Mikhail Grabovski and Niklas Hagman.  

Also, Burke doesn't fool around. I can see Brian trading away Thomas Kaberle, Vesa Toskala, and Pavel Kubina. He would look for prospects and first-round draft picks in exchange, but he won't be afraid to pull the trigger on a deal.

As I said, I believe Burke would try to reel in prospects and high draft picks for the Leafs. But I also believe if Burke does get the job, he may bring in what the Leafs have been lacking for years: a true NHL heavyweight.

I'm sick of seeing Leaf players being run into the boards and receiving cheap shots. Teams know that they can do this to the Leafs, because really, who's going to stop them?

Ryan Hollweg? Please, this guy isn't a fighter, he is a pest who becomes a human punching bag whenever he drops the gloves.

Luke Schenn? Come on guys, Luke's a tough kid, but he's still a kid. He should not be fighting 30-year-olds. Schenn is just going to hurt himself, and that would be a blow to the Buds.

Granted, they do have Jamal Mayers but he is not a heavyweight. I mean, if Mayers drops the gloves with a guy like George Laraque or Derek Boogaard, my money's on the other guy.

So as we wait this week for the announcement of Burke as GM, I hope you now have some insight into what Burke might do if he becomes GM of Toronto.