The Luongo Thread [Mod Warning in OP]
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10-20-2012, 08:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Originally Posted by
Wrong. Burke has made a few mistakes (in hindsight - like all GMs) but for the large part has brought vast improvement to the franchise in terms of incoming/outgoing personnel.
That the failure of the on ice product rests on the shoulder of the GM is a laughable misconception.
It can be more justifiably focused on special teams, coaching, goaltending, and the general confounding factors (pressure, media idiocy, fans unrealistic
expectations) of Toronto. Not to mention the oft-ignored factor of pure chance that is inherent in sports.
He has brought in highly acclaimed hockey men (coaching, special team coaches, etc.) for all of these suffering departments that all objective critics lauded when they first happened. These experienced and renowned coaches and hockey minds didn't work out. This is not Brian Burke's fault. Your statement makes an erroneous association between his position as a GM and the success of his on-ice product.
The only thing laughable here is how much slack Burke gets from fans on the job he's actually done.
The personnel he's changed over - whether that's been positive or not can only be measured in results. Anything else is subjective, based on assumptions and hope of what could happen in the future. The reality is that Burke took over a bottom end team 4 years ago, and they're still a bottom end team now. This is a team that has just posted back to back 13th place conference finishes! isn't it a GM's job to produce results? If the team is rebuilding, isn't it his job to show upward movement? And this doesn't even consider Burke's own comments which have blown up in his face - you know the "we are not rebuilding only retooling as the market won't allow for a rebuild there" ... Well 4 yrs into "retooling" and most fans still consider the team rebuilding.
The Leafs sucked before Burke got there, but 4 yrs later what has changed? They still suck and have shown no upward mobility as a franchise. The only thing people still hold on to as a positive is a bunch of maybes and a whole lot of hope. But at the end of the day EVERY GM in the league is evaluated on results. Even a bottom end team needs to show some movement towards respectability over a 4 year cycle. Not Burke. Apparently he can screw up in his own "retooling" plan, stay at the bottom of the conference year after year, and still be given a free ride from fans talking about how he's changed so much there despite having the worst point totals of any team in the league since he came into his job as GM there.
Personally, I'm surprised how much slack Burke gets there. Most organizations fire their GM when they go 4 yrs into their term without seeing the playoffs, while not even seeing the team rise in the standings at all. You'd think in a diehard hockey market he'd have even more pressure, but not in TO. He can fail in what he publicly set out to do, have the team even further from the playoffs now then when he first took over, and fans will still be talking about him as if he's a great GM. I guess he's lucky being in Toronto. Most other organizations would evaluate him based on results, only in TO he's evaluated based on the hope results may one day come... And that too 4 yrs into his term (where he's posted a bigger losing percentage than any other GM in the league), and 7 yrs into the franchise living in the basement. How much longer does Burke have in his once retooling, now rebuilding plan? They're going to go 5 yrs under him without a playoff spot before he's fired? 6? 7? How much slack does he have before hope and maybes are no longer enough and his future will depend on actual results?
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