Brian Burke: On the Clock

leafsDuring the summer of 2008, we all knew Brian Burke was on his way. Sure, he was still GM of the Ducks at the time, but by November it was official. Brian Burke had a 5-year deal to be the new President and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

We watched the Leafs miss the playoffs under Burke's watch in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and with the Leafs trailing Washington 4-0 as I type, our hopes here in 2012 are quickly fading. Burke's made significant changes, but the results are the same.

Some say it's the coaching. Others say it's the goaltending. I say it's everything.

Ron Wilson needs to go, we need reliable and dependable goaltending, and the talent of both the forwards and defensemen needs a serious upgrade. We're praying to somehow slip into 8th place in the conference so we can be first-round fodder, and not a soul in this city thinks there's a prayer we'll play for the cup. This is a mediocre team, like most Leafs teams this past decade.

With the trade deadline Monday, what players wouldn't you part with? Gardiner, maybe? In truth, there's no blue chip Leafs players that aren't expendable. There's a few decent parts, and at least one d-man with a massive upside, but it feels like we're as far away from the cup as ever. Any hope we had has dissolved.

Here's hoping Burke doesn't give up a single draft pick on Monday. Here's hoping Burke fires his buddy Ron Wilson, something he should have done last summer. Here's hoping we hold on to Jake Gardiner, find a goalie who can stand on his head for a couple of months and don't sacrifice the future for a potential 8th place finish.

And Burke? At some point he has to live up to his rep... he's on the clock, and he knows it. I'm giving him one more season.


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Comments (15 - click here to join in!)

elvis

(a) Wilson will be fired
(b) Forget about trading picks, at this point you can't trade ANY of the kids...it's not their year (or close to it), what's the point of trading anyone who is unproven?
(c) Burke is on the clock - I say two seasons max as the new ownership won't be official until the summer and they will give him at least two more seasons

I will offer this - perhaps our expectations have always been too high. We've never really bottomed out and we're not at the bottom now either so maybe we need more time to see Burke's plan through? Or maybe we should bring back Gord Stellick. At least his teams made the playoffs.

February 25, 2012 @ 9:08 PM

MLSE

Wilson!

You're fired, effective April 8, 2012.

Problem: solved.

February 25, 2012 @ 9:12 PM

dale

It's been 3 or more years when Burke said we will be within reach of the Lord Stanley. The Leafs haven't even made the playoffs.

It's disgusting watching this team with so much so called potential. Coach's fault for sure but Burke won't pull the trigger even though the gun is loaded. NO players want to play for Ronnie anymore as evident the last 1-2 weeks.

A coach can make a difference - just like Ottawa, who were lost in 1st month of the season & now will MAKE the playoffs.

February 25, 2012 @ 9:32 PM

David

So for the past several years, the Leafs have been (unofficially) out of the playoffs by the all-star game, so they kick ass in the second half and play like a team worthy of being in the playoffs. But this year, when it really counts, they turtle. Now WHO could have seen that happen?

February 25, 2012 @ 9:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Sorry about the shite server tonight... load issues lately, sharing server with Greek blog with crazy traffic. Damn Greeks!

If you comment, it will publish. You just might not realize it until you re-visit the page.

February 25, 2012 @ 9:54 PM

Cheryl

Well, look at my Habs. They're doing worse. You guys don't have a lot more to complain about. My Habs are brutal. Go Habs.

February 26, 2012 @ 9:24 AM

Pigeon Toed Dave

Mike you have nailed it right on the head with your leaf observations. The right coach with a good system can turn mediocre into winners along with a half decent goalie. Look what Roger Neilson used to do with his average players.

February 26, 2012 @ 9:28 AM

Sammi

Look at what a good coach did for Ottawa and St. Louis. If Burke can't see what that real problem is, then he should be fired too.

February 26, 2012 @ 11:16 AM

dale

Not only St. Louis & Ottawa coaching changes look what Boudreau has done since he took over in Anaheim.

Coaching - the players have to play to a system which coaches put into effect. THERE IS NO SYSTEM I can see in Toronto.

February 26, 2012 @ 2:01 PM

Tim

I love the Leafs but I refuse to support them at all for the rest of this season. Not until Wilson is gone will this team go anywhere. Please do not trade away our future for an anemic playoff run in which we bow out in the first round.

Please, please, no more Wilson

February 26, 2012 @ 4:34 PM

andrew

Because of the GREAT start the Leafs had this year in position in standing & Kessel & Lupul everyone thought this is heaven. Then things started to change & get worse. If only the Leafs had the run they had last year, this year the Leafs would make the playoffs.

Coaches (Wilson & Allure) have to go. Burke has to have Rick Dudley coach balance of the season as a good coach but got screwed when Atlanta moved to Winterpeg who I would love to see make the playoffs & make Bettman BURY his head with decision to move there.

February 26, 2012 @ 6:56 PM

Rob

I'm a Sens fan. There, thats out of the way.

I know you Leaf fans won't like it, but just look at the 2 teams.

Sens have consistent scoring from Michalek, Alfie and Spezza. A BLUE chip blue liner in Karlsson. Steady D from a 1000 gamer like Philips.
Look at the Sens system. They have Mark Stone who scored big for Canada at the Juniors, Zibanejad who was huge for Sweden, and Lehner who is a high ranking prospect for Goaltenders.
Plus, Ben Bishop who most seem to think will be a starter in the NHL.

I'm honestly not trying to slag the Leafs (my sons a Leaf fan, and he really wants to see them in the play offs), but, the Leafs are broken (again).

February 27, 2012 @ 9:25 AM

Joe Jackson

Oh Canada. The only country in the northern hemisphere that has Leafs falling in the springtime!

February 27, 2012 @ 11:19 AM

Boomer

The Leafs made a deal with the Ducks. I can't believe it. I mean come on, imagine Burkie making a trade with the Ducks!!!!

February 27, 2012 @ 3:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

BREAKING NEWS....

The Toronto Maple Leafs trade Dale Mitchel to the Anaheim Ducks for Mark Fraser.

February 27, 2012 @ 3:43 PM

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