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01-08-2013, 03:20 PM
  #570
dave babych returns
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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I know it's easy to take a run at the Leafs but there's pretty much no question that organization is in better shape now than it was when Brian Burke took over.

Take a look at the opening night roster for the Leafs a few weeks before Burke was hired.

A forward group built around Nik Antropov, Jason Blake, Nik Hagman, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Matt Stajan. A blueline with a rapidly declining Tomas Kaberle, an already-declined Pavel Kubina and nobody else who could even be expected to be an impact player. Vesa Toskala in net.

Here are their top 20 prospects from that fall. For those who don't feel like following the link the top five are Schenn, Kulemin, Tlusty, Pogge and Stralman.

Right now they have two players better than anyone I've mentioned (Kessel and Phaneuf) and some solid young-ish players to go with them, they have some young players with incredibly high ceilings (JVR and Gardiner) on the roster and a collection of other prospects that should produce a few NHLers and probably a key player or two. It's not exactly the class of the league and some of Burke's FA signings are holding the team back right now but that can change (and Burke may have done enough to be rewarded with the right to be around to try to correct his mistakes).

Their goaltending still sucks though.

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