Archive for February, 2011

Brian Burke: Willing To Undo Errors

February 10th, 2011 No Comments

With the news that veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin has been traded to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Joffrey Lupul, prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional third round draft choice in 2013 hitting the airwaves on Wednesday, it appears as if Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is willing to make amends for the moves that have not paid dividends. Beauchemin played 136 games in the Blue and White. He never really endeared himself to the Leaf Nation and, while he was in tough playing in Toronto, many fans feel he fell short of expectations. Trading Beauchemin is a sign that, despite Burke’s strong loyalty to his players—both past and present—that he is willing to make changes as long as he deems they better his club. Truth be told, there have been plenty of signs that Burke is flexible, just

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Nashville Predators Acquire Mike Fisher From Ottawa

February 10th, 2011 No Comments

The Nashville Predators have added some offensive depth to their team, acquiring veteran centre Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators. The deal will see the Senators land the Preds first round draft choice in 2011 as well as a conditional draft choice (perhaps as high as a second rounder) in 2013. Originally drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the second round (44th overall), Fisher, like many Senators, had been struggling this season, registering 14 goals and 24 points through 55 games played. Fisher (who carries a $4.2 million cap hit both this sesason and 2011-12) also carried with him a nasty minus -19 rating, the worst of his NHL career. Fisher was coming off a career year in 2009-10 where he amassed a toal of 25 goals and 53 points (both career highs). For Nashville, they have acquired a legitimate

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Brian Burke Deals Francois Beauchemin, Who Is Next To Go?

February 10th, 2011 No Comments

Yesterday, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke dealt veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks for defensive prospect Jake Gardiner, a conditional fourth round draft pick in 2013 and the apple of Burke’s eye, Joffrey Lupul. Lupul, who has battled back problems and a serious blood infection over the past two seasons, has three 20 goal seasons to his name, scoring 28 goals in 2005-06, 20 in 2007-08 and 25 in 2008-09, respectively. In Gardiner, Burke got a converted forward who is known for his quick outlet passes, puck control and skating ability. All in all, Gardiner is regarded as a tremendous prospect who may very well emerge as a top four defenseman in a few years. At yesterday’s press conference, Burke said he was not done dealing and while he was non-committal about the number of trades

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Francois Beauchemin Traded To Anaheim, Joffrey Lupul Coming To Toronto

February 9th, 2011 No Comments

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has traded veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks in return for a package that includes forward Joffrey Lupul, defensive prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional fourth round draft pick in 2013. For Anaheim, they get a player that they are familiar with—a veteran Defenseman that can step into the lineup and give their team upwards of 25 minutes per game if need be. Criticized for giving away the puck too often and looking slow on occasion, Beauchemin registered two goals and 12 points through 54 games with the Maple Leafs this season, while posting a respectable minus four rating on a team that has struggled to keep the puck out of the net. Beauchemin has one year left on his contract which carries a cap hit of $3,800,000. Anaheim fans remember

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Have The Leafs’ Had Their “Phil” Of Phil Kessel?

February 7th, 2011 No Comments

Fresh off his infamous snub at the 2011 All-Star Game, Toronto Maple Leafs “sniper” Phil Kessel is making headlines again. Kessel, who is currently enjoying a ten game scoring drought, has been criticized for his lack of defensive prowess and, to some extent seems to be having his work ethic questioned. When he was asked about his current slump Kessel made the following comment, “I’m trying. Obviously it’s not going right. Like I said, might not be working out here. What are you going to do?” As troubling as Kessel’s comments were, head coach Ron Wilson’s comments were equally enlightening, “Phil doesn’t really want to talk much about goal scoring or even work on it that much in practice.” On the surface it appears as if both Wilson (who Kessel says he doesn’t “really talk to”) are at odds over

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Free Agency Offers Little For Toronto Maple Leafs

February 4th, 2011 4 Comments

When the 2010-11 season began, there was hope that the Toronto Maple Leafs would make the playoffs for the first time in what seems like a decade. Failing that, many Maple Leaf fans held out hope that general manager Brian Burke would be able to bolster the lineup with a unrestricted free agent or two up front this summer, which, at this point, doesn’t seem like a smart option. Dallas Stars centre Brad Richards has always been the apple of the Leafs Nation eyes, but with the Stars looking like a playoff team and Richards’ contributions being a big reason for that, it is looking more and more like Richards will re-sign in Dallas. Alexander Semin garnered some interest from some fans, but he recently signed a one-year $6.7 million deal with the Washington Capitals, stifling any delusions the Leafs

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