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01-09-2013, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Should we compare who came into their job with more actual NHL talent on the roster? How about the farm system? How about drafting since they took over?

The answers, of course, are Burke, Burke, and a decided advantage to Howson. Even if we pare the drafting down to just 2009-present for the sake of equalizing, Howson still easily trumps Burke.

As for the rest of your post, I still think that there's a greater draw to the Leafs than you're giving credit for. Kids who grew up in Sweden still grew up with the legends of Borje Salming and then Mats Sundin, and they've certainly had respectable other European players as well.
NHL talent. Sure, Burke had more "talent". It was also underperforming on horrible contract terms in a capped league with many no trade clauses where the underperforming players refused to waive--so what could have been an "asset" wasn't because Burke couldn't get market value for guys. Imagine having 4-5 Rick Nash-type contracts on Day 1 as a GM and that is exactly the situation Burke spent 2-3 years trying to solve.

Farm system? What great NHL talent was down on the farm when Burke arrived, exactly? The 5 years of draft preceding Burke's arrival were pretty poor. The cupboard was bare. Gunarsson, Stalberg and James Reimer were the top of the heap of their talent.

As for drafting, I'm not sure Howson wins quite as easily as you seem to think. The only guys to play at least one "full" season in the NHL are Johansen, Moore and Jake Voracek. Verdict is still out on Johansen and Moore. Voracek is a good but not great pick, particularly with a top 10 pick. For Burke, verdict is out on Kadri and Luke Schenn has been a decent defenseman--whether he gets to the next level still being somewhat up in the air. The further along we've gotten in Howson's reign the more it has become clear that some prospects simply aren't going to live up to the hopes people had for them. Consider that one of our best prospects is Atkinson, a 6th round pick (the same year that Scotty thought it wise to select Mr. Filatov) and it is unclear whether he'll ultimately be able to handle the rigors of the NHL on a daily basis over 82 games. If Howson "wins" on this count, it is more because Burke flubbed so badly in Toronto. Which is interesting when you consider that this is the same GM who managed to selected both Sedins, Bobby Ryan, Jake Gardiner, Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, Chris Pronger, and...RJ Umberger. Heck, Burke has done a better job drafting from the CCHA over his career than Howson, and Howson is in the same city as a CCHA team.

There is nothing particularly noteworthy about Howson's drafting. Yet you continue to act as if there is.

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