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01-09-2013, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Originally Posted by
...and he was also provided with limitless resources, and the ability to say, "Hey, UFA, didn't you grow up a Leafs fan? Don't you want to be closer to family so they can see you play? Don't you want to play in front of sellout crowds, and never have to buy a meal or drink anywhere you go in the city?"
Based on last year's payroll, you really going to argue that Howson hasn't been given essentially limitless resources within the bounds of the CBA. At this point Howson almost has as many guys helping him do his job as Burke did his.
As for the argument of "closer to family," the NHL talent pool is more spread out than it was in 1960. You think Russian players, kids from Saskatoon or kids from the US give two hoots about Toronto?
I think the Leafs brand is more tarnished than people lead on. Kids who grew up in the late 80's and 90's aren't lining up because of some great memories of the Leafs. These aren't kids raised in the '60's when the Leafs were one of the top teams in the league.
Also, I think the Leafs actually have a huge built-in disadvantage. The city is so hungry for a winner that a guy like Kessel who puts up 82 points is still hated by the fans. That atmosphere is something a lot of guys don't want. Yes, if the team were ever competently run being a part of a winner would yield huge rewards. But as long as the team is mediocre or worse, don't expect free meals or a beer.
So, let's not pretend that Brian Burke's job was any more easy than Howson's.
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