Thread: Proposal: TOR Rebuild
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01-19-2013, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by LeftCoast View Post
The Leafs will never commit to a rebuild.

Every time the Leafs fire a GM, it's basically for the same reasons; the team has under-performed, not made the playoffs and seems to be going in the wrong direction.

So what message does that send the new GM? Win now or you're done. So each new GM does exactly the same things - tries to turn the last guy's team into a winner without blowing it up.

Brian Burke probably had the best chance to start a true rebuild. He had the most autonomy of any GM in recent history. But he opted for the slow rebuild thinking that with a couple of big trades and a few free agents he would have a competitive team. It might have worked except for his failure to provide a goal tender. If you are going to build around a core, you have to have core players at the right positions. There is a lot of wisdom to the idiom that you build your team around strength up the middle - a top line centre, a top defensive pair and a goalie. You don't trade 2 years worth of high draft picks for a winger.

If Dave Nonis's plan is to build around the existing core, then he has to address the goal tending problems. If his plan is to blow the team up this summer, then he should try to get some value in return for his pending UFAs and look for a lottery draft pick this spring. Retain only the veterans who have solid leadership qualities to mentor the next generation of players.
Nope. Burke's problems came from the fact that he tried to do an accelerated rebuild, but refused to committ to one direction. He signs Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin to big deals to compliment Tomas Kaberle, Luke Schenn, Carl Gunnarsson, Ian White & Jeff Finger. Then, a couple months later because Komisarek gets hurt, he commits $6.5m to Dion Phaneuf. He also goes out and gets Garnet Exelby, just to make sure that he completely destroy's Finger's confidence, and as it turns out, his NHL career.

When you fire a GM, it basically pushes the reset button again. You've already seen Nonis clear out talent for nothing so that the young guys can play, instead of filling the biggest weaknesses on our roster. With the depth that Burke accumulated up front, there's no way that it should've been impossible to convert some of that depth to a stay-at-home defenceman.

As for messages being sent, there doesn't seem to be a clear one... because Burke's firing was primarily as a result of the fact that new ownership didn't like the way he conducted himself. What's clear, is that they seem to be ok with a youth movement.

Nonis too, is suffering from the same mistakes. Jake Gardiner is out to start the year, which should afford a temporary spot to Morgan Rielly, but instead he chooses to play a 27 year old Mike Kostka. Gardiner & Rielly are the two young guys that you're building around on the blueline, they should be playing whenever possible, and the Leafs should've moved Franson/Liles, along with whatever else was neccessary, to acquire a top 4 shutdown guy to compliment one of them while Komisarek plays with the other.

Realistically, if we're truly going with the youth movement, our opening night pairings should be Gunnarsson-Phaneuf, Liles-Franson, Rielly-Komisarek. Insulate Rielly's lack of physicality. Force Franson to learn to be a more physical player, not the ideal situation for Franson, but he's not the guy who you're prioritizing.

Last edited by seanlinden: 01-19-2013 at 10:32 AM.
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