Brian Burke: A Savior for the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Well, it finally seems like all this waiting is over. Brian Burke has been named the 13th General Manager in Toronto Maple Leafs history. Don't forget, he also gets the title of President; that's not too shabby if you ask me.
The deal that Burke reasoned from Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment is reportedly worth approximately $18 million for the term of 6 years (the rest of this season, and then five more).
But, the big topic as of late is whether or not Burke has the capabilities to live up to all the hype that has accompanied him on his journey from Anaheim to Toronto. In my opinion, yes indeed he does. Burke is the man to get the job done in Toronto, and that job needs to be started immediately.
Now in the title of my article, I used the word savior. Yes, I know this might seem like a bit of a stretch, but right now, when it comes to the Leafs, I am willing to take Burke as my Lord and personal savior. Let's face it, the Buds need all the help they can get right now.
Burke has a track record of signing the big name players and making the blockbuster deals, two skills which the past Leafs' GMs tended to lack.
For example, with the Anaheim Ducks, he was able to bring in such talent as Teemu Selanne, Scott Neidermeyer, and Chris Pronger to name a few. It was these players that paved the way to the Ducks' Stanley Cup win in 2007. It is pretty easy to see that Burke has the ability to make the deals, and make a difference.
In my personal opinion, it won't take him very long to do just that. Indeed, by the end of the season it will be very different Maple Leafs roster.
Some might point out that the current Leafs roster is very different than last season, and those same people might ask "how can he make any more changes?" But the answer to that question is pretty simple: Brian Burke does not care about fan popularity.
This means that fan favorites such as Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Nik Antropov, and Alex Ponikarovsky will be moved if the right circumstances arise.
Also, don't think that No. 1 goalie Vesa Toskala is safe either, especially because he has been terrible as of late. The only player on the team that should consider himself safe is Luke Schenn.
Much of this may seem drastic, but that is exactly what Burke has been brought into to do: make changes. It won't take long for these changes to take effect. So, brace yourselves Leaf Nation, you may be in for a bumpy ride.
Lets just hope its all worth it in the long run, because 42 years is a hell of a long time, and I am getting tired of waiting.
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