Is Brian Burke’s Plan Flawed?

March 14th, 2012 16 Comments

If you have ever played a game of Texas Hold’em Poker you will inevitably watch a number of short stacked players make a final push to stay in the game by offering up an all-in move. An all-in move involves a player pushing all off his poker chips into the pot with the hopes that he will (against the odds) get lucky and win the pot. More times than not the final push leads to a loss with the player having to push in his chair after losing what little money he had left. Building a hockey team can be like a game of poker. Every team has its fair share of ups and downs just as every player has its fair share of winning hands and bad beats. Ultimately, one player or one team will emerge as the winner and

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Toronto Maple Leafs Looking At Yet Another Lost Season: But A Lottery Pick Is In Sight!

March 8th, 2012 14 Comments

“What could have been?” These four words have haunted many a Toronto Maple Leaf fan for decades. The 2011-12 season has had its fair share of “what ifs”, including “what if Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke had the foresight to add a veteran goaltender to the roster this summer?”, to the question that is on everyone’s mind these days, “what if the Maple Leafs had avoided their late season collapse?” As the 2011-12 season inches closer to the end, it appears as if—barring a miracle from the hockey Gods—that the Maple Leafs will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season. The way things are going Toronto fans can no longer scoff at the suggestion that their beloved Maple Leafs may go an entire decade without participating in the playoffs. Sound crazy? Perhaps. But keep in mind, the Maple

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Mikhail Grabovski Signs Five-Year, $27.5 Million Deal

March 6th, 2012 14 Comments

It has been speculated for a long time now that the Toronto Maple Leafs would re-sign veteran centre Mikhail Grabovski to a long term extension. Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke made it official Tuesday, signing Grabovski to a five-year, US$27.5 million contract. On the surface the deal might look like a bad one for the Maple Leafs, but when you consider the deal Ales Hemsky recently signed with the Edmonton Oilers (2-years, $10 million) the Grabovski deal looks to be right on-par for a player of his resume and character. When Hemsky signed that deal I immediately questioned whether or not Grabovski’s future with the Maple Leafs was in jeopardy, not because I didn’t see him as a great asset, rather that I really felt based on the Hemsky signing that Grabovski could garner as much as $6

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Brian Burke Press Conference: Randy Carlyle Introduced

March 3rd, 2012 8 Comments

Nobody is surprised that Ron Wilson was relieved from his duties as the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach, but there are some fans that are concerned with the timing of the move. Marred in a 1-9-1 losing streak, Wilson’s head was bound to roll sooner or later. While some fans would have liked to have seen Burke wait until the summer months to dismiss Wilson, others felt this season was salvageable and that a change at the helm was key in any chance of the Maple Leafs making the playoffs this season. Burke said it had become obvious this week that any chance of making the playoffs would require a coaching change, time will tell if Randy Carlyle can turn around this sinking ship, but the math, which suggests the Maple Leafs will have to win a minimum of 12 of the

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Toronto Maple Leafs FIRE RON WILSON—Randy Carlyle Hired

March 2nd, 2012 18 Comments

Somewhere, Don Cherry must be smiling!!!! Several sources, including TSN, are reporting that Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson has been fired. With his team currently marred in a 1-9-1 losing streak, Wilson’s future with the club seemed tenuous at best, so this latest news is hardly a shock. Wilson was fired just two months after receiving a one-year contract extension, which should serve as a nice buyout.  Since signing with the Maple Leafs, Wilson has led the Buds to four very disappointing seasons, finishing with a 34-35-13 record in 2008-09, followed by a 30-38-14 finish in 2009-10, a moderately improved 37-34-11 finish in 2010-11 and a paltry 29-28-7 record this season. Wilson leaves the Maple Leafs after four seasons with a 130-135-45 record. Former Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle has been hired to replace Wilson. Carlyle and

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Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Chances: The Reality Check…And The Ron Wilson Debate

March 2nd, 2012 5 Comments

Eternally optimistic, Toronto Maple Leaf fans from coast-to-coast are still holding out a measure of hope that their beloved Blue and White will somehow find a way to make the playoffs this year. Last season the New York Rangers sneaked into the playoffs with 93 points. For the Maple Leafs (who currently have 65 points) to get close to that number they will have to earn a total of 28 points in their final 18 games, which would mean winning between 12-14 games and throwing in at least a couple of ties for good measure—good luck with that! The Maple Leafs currently occupy the 11th spot overall in the Eastern Conference standings. With the Buds five points out of the eighth and final playoff spot and with two teams ahead of them in the standings even the most optimistic Maple

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