During 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.