Burke

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Former Leafs prospect budding in Carolina

In trading the prospect Dec. 3 2009, fellow general managers Brian Burke and Jim Rutherford agreed 2006 first-round pick Jiri Tlusty would not thrive in Toronto.

VIA The Toronto Star:

"(Tlusty) is a player who has a better chance to flourish in a smaller market," Hurricanes general manager Rutherford said in 2009. "It takes a certain type of character to flourish in Toronto. Some guys like it, some guys don't. It's something (Burke) and I talked about when we were making this deal."

The Maple Leafs gave Tlusty little time to develop - trading the Czech forward before his 22nd birthday - having played 74 games for the buds over a span of three ...

JVR benefits from net presence

If James van Riemsdyk’s current projections are any indication, Brian Burke’s swan song may be a coup for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 23-year-old has eight goals and 10 points in 13 games thus far and has provided a net-front presence that’s been lacking on the Leafs for a while. Consider that the average distance of JVR’s goals is 14.9-feet (three came from rebounds in front of the net). If you’re curious, here are the distances of each goal he’s scored so far this season:


1 – 33-feet

2 – 9.5-feet

3 – 6.5-feet

4 – 19.4-feet

5 – 10-feet

6 – 9.5-feet

7 &ndas...

Leafs Require Clear Direction

With news of Brian Burke’s dismissal fully digested, the watchful gaze of the hockey world turn on newly-appointed general manager Dave Nonis and the direction of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Since his hiring in 2008, Burke had opted for a fast-track rebuild in an attempt to stockpile prospects and draft picks while competing for the playoffs every season. Evidently, his plan was foiled by missing the post-season four years in a row, and the Leafs don’t have an elite batch of prospects to show for it.

I’d be amiss, however, not to acknowledge the decent core and (to a lesser extent) prospect pool Burke has managed to assemble.

Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly and...

Leafs Sign McClement; Re-sign Frattin

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed center Jay McClement for two years with a $1.5-million cap-hit, as well as re-sign forward Matt Frattin to a two-year deal worth 850K per season.

The signing is hardly a big splash from general manager Brian Burke, but that’s probably a good thing. McClement will likely play on the third or fourth line, and log significant minutes on the penalty kill. He led the Colorado Avalanche, and was third among forwards in the National Hockey League, in SH TOI/G with 3:06. McClement only averaged 10:03 of even-strength ice-time so his skillset is suited for the penalty kill---an area that has decimated the Leafs since the lockout. He should mesh well ...

Wilson on the Leafs' Radar?

There is no credible hockey insider linking Colin Wilson to the Toronto Maple Leafs. This article is purely speculative based on tweets from Paul Hendrick, of Leafs TV and mapleleafs.com.

To put it simply, here are Hendrick’s tweets in succession:

“Brian burke is back talking with pred gm david poile before going back to leaf draft table.#tmltalk”

“Schenn to flyers for jvr...leafs not done yet.#tmltalk”

When asked if the potential trade could go down today, which was Saturday at the time of the tweet, Hendrick replied, “Quite possibly.”

It’s possible the trade turned cold. It’s also possible the general ma...

Leafs Should Trade Lupul

Joffrey Lupul had a great season: He notched 25 goals and 67 points in 66 games, played in the All-Star Game, and was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy. His season ended abruptly with a separated shoulder, but it remains his most successful since joining the National Hockey League.

That being said, Lupul probably isn’t a point-per-game player. Some think the numerous injuries he’d sustained halted his development and he is just now displaying his capabilities. Whatever the case may be, Lupul’s trade value is the highest it’s ever been, and the Leafs have an excess of wingers with the arrival of James van Riemsdyk---Nazem Kadri could be ready, too.

Leafs need an established goaltender, not another project

If the Toronto Maple Leafs hope to acquire an established goaltender, Brian Burke will have to explore the trade route.

Considering the unrestricted free agent class is absolutely skeletal in terms of starting goaltenders, and Burke’s abysmal track record in free agency, that should sit well with most Leafs fans.

The issue, of course, is that one of the prime goaltending options is now a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, the Leafs were not interested in granting a second year to Vokoun, so the 36-year-old goaltender wound up with the Penguins at an affordable cap-hit of $2-million for the next two years. I can’t help but...

Leafs Should Pursue Vokoun

With news of Roberto Luongo requesting a trade from the Vancouver Canucks, and the Tampa Bay Lightning deciding to explore other options for a starting goaltender, rumours of the Toronto Maple Leafs pursuing the 33-year-old goaltender have heated.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie, however, mentioned that the Leafs, as of now, are not believed to be interested.

Assistant general manager Dave Nonis has made it clear that the Leafs intend on acquiring a veteran goaltender this summer with James Reimer and Ben Scrivens expected to battle for the back-up role.

So, if not Luongo, which goaltender may the Leafs acquire?

Enter Tomas Vokoun.

The 36-year-old goaltender recentl...

Will Reimer rebound?

The Toronto Maple Leafs will seek to upgrade its goaltending this summer whether James Reimer returns to his rookie form in the final 15 games or not.

General manager Brian Burke has remained adamant on retaining Reimer as the goaltender of the future---reportedly shot down a deal that would have brought back a significant return at the trade deadline---so fans should not expect the 23-year-old netminder to be going anywhere anytime soon. Registering a .921 save percentage in his rookie season, Reimer’s .899 save percentage as a sophomore is reason for concern, but nothing to fret over---at least, not yet.

Sophomore slumps are nothing new in the National Hockey League. I...

Grabovski re-signs, Leafs fans exhale

 

Mikhail Grabovski has signed a five-year contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His cap-hit will be $5.5-million, making him the Leafs’ highest-paid forward---that is, until Phil Kessel signs an extension. The cap-hit ranks him 36th amongst forwards, tied with Shawn Horcoff. As a comparable, some of the players that make within $250-thousand more or less than Grabovski are:

Shawn Horcoff

32 points

-20

.49 PPG

Martin St-Louis

61 points

+2

1.02 PPG

Mike Richards

34 points

+4

.60 PPG

Corey Perry

54 points

-5

.81 PPG

Ryan Getzlaf

45 points

-14