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08-05-2009, 10:00 AM
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Lucknow Sentinel: Brian Burke pays a visit to Bruce Power

While fielding questions from the audience of employees, Burke made it clear he has high hopes for this season's version of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"We will be better this year," he said. "I didn't come to Toronto to build anything but a Stanley Cup champion."

He has definitely put the Brian Burke stamp on the 2009-10 Leafs as the blueline has plenty of depth and size, the goaltending will be set and a number of tough guys have been added.

"We're going to play a very North American style of game," he said. "We're going to trade chances, win battles, score goals and fight. It's fun and it's exciting to watch."

While Burke had the same style of team in 2006-07 when the Anaheim Ducks were named champions, he knows the Leafs need help up front and will be continuing his search for a top six forward to join the squad while also looking for a new home for goaltender Justin Pogge.

"Pogge's a good kid, but it just didn't work out for him in Toronto," he said. "I assured him I would find him somewhere to play this year."

With Pogge out of the mix, the goaltending duties will fall on the shoulders of Vesa Toskala and newly signed target Jonas Gustavsson who will be pushing Toskala for the starting job.

"If we had strong goaltending all of last year we would have made the playoffs," he said, acknowledging Toskala's injury and being one of the worst defensive team's in the league were a major factor in the Leafs missing the second season for the fourth straight year. "We've tried to beef up our defence and I think we now have one of the top defensive cores in the league. Put that core in front of a solid goaltender and add the top six forward we need and we will have a good shot at going far this year."

Prior to Burke's arrival, a contest was held for the employees at Bruce Power to name who the Mystery Maple Leaf was with the help of hints and a photo with Burke's face cut out.

Declan Sexton's named was pulled from the draw which saw him become the owner of a signed Luke Schenn Leafs' jersey. On top of the jersey, Burke offered up two of his platinum seats for a game this season which Bill White was the lucky name pulled.

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