I have to admit, when word first got out that Brian Burke would likely be the new GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, I was excited. Being from Vancouver, and having met him on one occasion (which, regardless of the content of this article, I still consider to be one of my top hockey-related experiences), I was overjoyed by the prospect that this bombastic, confident, and savvy hockey man could come to be at the helm of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
However, after a long period of euphoria and optimism, I began to look at the Burke situation with a more critical eye, and I have to admit, I don't like what I see. The future of the Toronto Maple Leafs could be in great danger if Brian Burke becomes their next GM.
With Toskala struggling, Pogge seemingly taking forever to develop, and Cujo but a shadow of his old self, goaltending, which for so long has been seen as a strength, is a glaring weakness for the Leafs. Burke has never shown himself as being able to acquire and develop a goaltender. In Vancouver, his teams went through 13 goalies in five seasons. Now, I know this isn't a nail in the coffin, but it is certainly something to think about.
Everyone looks at Burke and thinks, what a great trader. Look at his ability to make the big and important deals. However, looking at his time with the Ducks, the accuracy of such thoughts must come into question. His acquisitions of Niedermayer, Pronger, and Beauchomin are credited as some of his top deals.
However, Niedermayer came to the Ducks primarily because his brother Rob was already a Duck; Scott repeatedly inferred that, after winning three Cups with the Devils, he wanted to win the next one with/for his brother. Beauchomin was a great deal, but it was one largely orchestrated by his assistant. Pronger came to the Ducks when he and Kevin Lowe were still chums, and at a time when Lowe was desperate to unload the Edmonton-phobic behemoth.
While Burke is probably the best man available for the job, it has to be realized that he is not the Messiah that many seem to think he is.