It's nice to see that, considering only one of those trades required actually giving up something of equal value (kessel trade). Burke has done a great job at assessing what we need and getting it. The leafs group of management seems to have a great talent evaluation.
I remember I was pretty sad to see Kabs go, but now to see how Liles is playing, and how Kabs is doing so far (2 points in 12 games), plus we got Colborne and a pick, that looks like a great trade, and maximizing of a players value. that's why, if franson IS traded, which I hope he isn't, im at least confident that burke will bring a great return in.
More importantly, he is just a great overall GM. Forget looking at each individual deal and saying we won this and lost that, you have to look at the bigger picture. For everyone that was screaming tank nation, the draft is not guaranteed. Columbus has had a top 10 pick in 10 of the 12 drafts that they have been in, with pretty much nothing to show for it. I donít know why everyone gets all googly eyed about tanking for 5 years and possibly getting top 5 picks that possibly develop into good players.
With Burkeís asset management our top line is all former top 10 picks (2 of them 5th overall), Phaneuf, Schenn, and Komisarek are also all former top 10 picks. We also have another top 10 pick in Kadri in the waiting. Also, he managed to acquire Bozak, Gustavsson and Scrivens all of which were sought after by multiple teams. Colborne is tearing up the A (another 1st round pick) and Gardiner is a now a staple of this team (again, another 1st round pick).
Oh, and for the negative people that want to use the Kessel deal to dispute the other way, give me a break. They act as though we didnít get a player back in the deal and we mortgaged our future somehow. Bruins got a good player or players and we got a good player, thatís how it should go. The deal worked out bad where the picks landed and it was a gamble, but we got a potential 40-50 goal all-star. It looks bad on Burke, but it could have turned out just as bad for Chiarelli. I said from the get go I couldnít understand how a team that was trying to contend could let a star player go for ONLY picks, nobody would do this. A comparison in my mind would be Pittsburgh trading say Malkin or Staal for a bunch of 1st round picks, it would never happen, there is no way they donít get a star winger back for Crosby in a deal like that. Same thing with guys like Kane or Zetterberg. You would at least take a blue chip prospect if you are dealing away the best player. Chiarelli could have looked just as stupid as Burke was portrayed.
I believe asset management as a whole is what makes a team successful and Burke is excellent at it. Or a wizard if you want to say that.
Burke's provided us with depth -- something we didn't have before. Players can get injured and, to some extent, we can replace them; obviously if Kessel or Grabovski go down then they can't be replaced but we don't have to an an all-AHL lineup.
Remember when guys like Stajan, Ponikarovsky, Stempniak and Blake were the go-to guys?
Burke had to work some trade magic to be certain. He really had no choice though. Toronto can't tank and he had a terrible roster to start with and virtually no depth in the system. Drafting takes at least 3-4 years before players start to develop into NHL players, so he had to fast track the roster turnover and use the financial power he had to accumulate assets and build a significant front office group. The trades were only part of the overall plan.
For everyone that was screaming tank nation, the draft is not guaranteed. Columbus has had a top 10 pick in 10 of the 12 drafts that they have been in, with pretty much nothing to show for it. I don’t know why everyone gets all googly eyed about tanking for 5 years and possibly getting top 5 picks that possibly develop into good players.
Columbus have had legendarily poor management, and are in a market/city that no players want to stay in or go to (unless they are MASSIVELY overpaid). The Pens, Hawks, Caps and Kings are all examples of teams in good markets that have recently tanked and rebuilt through the draft, and all are in amazing situations. Tampa are a semi-tanking example, though they had only 3 very poor seasons (leading to the drafting of Hedman, Stamkos and Connolly). Up and coming teams that have tanked and should be great soon include the Oilers, the Avs and the Islanders. With halfway competent management, and a good market that allows you to keep your players and eventually spend to the cap, I'd say that tanking and rebuilding through the draft is a pretty flawless method of eventually developing a cup contender. It's really only the teams in awful markets that are caught eternally in poor seasons, because they have no ability to retain players or to surround their youngsters with more expensive vet talent, and they often cannot attract/afford good GMs/management/scouts.
For ages I wanted us to just commit to the tank and rebuild through the draft, our core was so awful, but we traded away a lot of picks and never really committed to the tank. If we had I think we'd be looking at a brighter future than we currently are, one where we could expect to be very legit cup contenders, but with that being said Burke has still done a nice job, our team is looking pretty solid and our future reasonably bright.
I like my team and I don't really care if the players were acquired via trade, draft or UFA. I see a team a few years away from being a legit contender, although there is work to be done. But there is no question Burke knows how to get that done. It's what everybody expected from the start. If he can pull a Pronger deal or Sedin deal out of his ass for this team now, without hurting the team long term, he canb do it.
In the past, all he had to look at to deal were the Stajan's, Poni's etc or young guys like Schenn or Kadri. And not that I'm proposing moving Schenn or Kadri, but if he chose to move Schenn, Aulie is a replacement, and Kadri has replacements too. Or moving guys off the NHL roster has AHL players ready to move in.