The Old Leafs GM
Let’s face it. Ferguson had the Leafs in the hole that they are in now. I was so happy when he was fired and wished that it was done sooner. I bet many fans wished this as well. He traded away most of our young talent for old, players who had 3-5 seasons left at best. Brad Boyes for example, 27 years old, scored 33 goals this season, and put up 72 points. Now I am I missing something or does that not seem like a valuable player to have on your team? He was a part of a trade that brought Owen Nolan to Toronto. I agree he had talent when he was younger but again he was older by the time he got to Toronto and was in no hurry to stay. Alyn McCauley was also a part of the deal for Owen Nolan. McCauley was no star in Toronto but eventually did brake out of his shell and had become a decent centre. Again young for old. Ferguson also had traded a 4th round pick for Ron Francis. He was old enough to be my grandfather when he came to Toronto. I wouldn’t trade a bag of pucks for Ron Francis. First you inherit his contract, secondly he is slower then most players that are sliding around on thier asses. He made some contributions but not at all good enough to bring them a Cup. http://chat.mapleleafs.com/index.php?showtopic=63718&st=20 –thats a list of some of his worst moves.
Cliff Fletcher had nothing to work with by the time Fergie was fired. He made some moves that could have benefitted Toronto if only the players co-operated. Mats Sundin left Toronto without a star forward. Cliff Fletcher had told him that he wasn’t going to be resigned to Toronto and he wasn’t going to win a Cup in Toronto so waive your no trade clause…did he? Nope no star forward for Toronto. A move that I wasn’t too sure of was the Steen and Colaiacovo for Stempniak. It might have worked seeing that Carlo spent more time at home injured then on the ice and Steen was skating laps instead of putting the puck in the net these season with only 8 goals. Stempniak however decided to go to sleep for his 47 games in Toronto only netting 11 goals with 14 on the season. Pretty ugly seeing how he nearly had 30 during the 2006-2007 season. Overall Cliff Fletcher might have turned this team around avoiding the rebuilding process altogether if his team decided to work with him.
GM Brian Burke has his work cut out for him this time. He won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks and is looking to pick up another. He has enough draft picks to draft an entire line and a half. He actually held on to the 1st round pick which past GMs had trouble doing. Luke Schenn has played amazing in his first season where he was expected to fail in the big league. He makes other teams wish they picked him. I think that Toronto has good potential in the defensive area so I think Burke should focus on drafting and signing forwards with the potential to put up big numbers. He should also look to pick up a goalie during free agent month. Most mock drafts see Burke drafting the brother of Luke Schenn, Brayden Schenn who helped lead his team to finish third in the Eastern Conference. Burke also said that he’ll try his best in trading to the top spot for John Tavares as well. He does have the players to do it: Kaberle, 1st pick and another might be enough to pick up the 1st pick of the draft instead of the 7th. But will the Islanders want to take 7th? I think that Burke should trade up for a better spot but the price might be too much for the 1st spot. Burke has roughly $11.5 million to work with this summer with a possible $9.25 million more if Kaberle and Kubina are dealt. Although unlikely, they are rebuilding so anything is possible. If the Leafs were to become contenders for a playoff spot next year, they’ll have to depend on Burke’s ability as GM. However Burke does have 6 years to turn the team around so there is no hurry to make the playoffs…