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What If We Kept the "Muskoka Five"?

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02-06-2013, 10:49 PM
  #1
Stephen
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What If We Kept the "Muskoka Five"?

All of this talk about the Leafs "turning the page" on Phil Kessel just because he's a 'Burke Guy' has re-opened some uglier memories about how shallow the Leafs and MLSE are, and how the corporate notion of "appearing to get something done" is more important than actually doing something right.

This has me thinking back to when Cliff Fletcher was brought back a second time to "clear the decks" in the most unproductive, scorched earth rebuild that has probably ever taken place in the NHL. I know a lot of fans will still villanize the veterans who wouldn't leave, instead of blaming the GM who depreciated their value to the point where we were giving away a Bryan McCabe and a pick to get Mike Van Ryn (why did this need to happen anyway?), but let's put that all aside.

How would the Leafs rebuild have looked post 2008 if we had simply kept our veterans? What if we re-committed to Mats that offseason for one more season, just let Bryan McCabe play out his contract in Toronto, didn't rush to trade Kubina for Garnett Exelby, didn't buy out Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood or Andrew Raycroft?

What would a Leafs rebuild have looked like if we had drafted and promoted our rookies, brought in Brian Burke, still made the Kessel deal with those existing veterans to help out Luke Schenn like Ottawa did by keeping certain veterans around? Would we have made the playoffs at any point between 2009 and 2012?

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02-06-2013, 10:53 PM
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Well we've missed the playoffs for 8 straight years. So I would say that any difference in the club over the last 8 years most likely would of produced better results. 8 straight years... how hard would that be to top?

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02-06-2013, 11:14 PM
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What I find interesting about these threads is that invariable assertion that player x = bringing his team into the playoffs. Couple that with whatever discussion is being bandied about concerning Kessel not being Nonis's guy and we have the makings I'm sure, of an argument, "Kessel hasn't brought us into the playoffs, Kessel hasn't changed our luck, so we should move out Burke's mistake, etc, etc, etc...".

Counter in before the actual gripe:

Phil Kessel is a ppg playoff performer and "brought" the now Championship team Bruins into the playoffs twice.

The Muskoka Five -- whether so called by media, themselves or other, were mishandled. They were men who loved the Leafs and believed in the club's success and wanted to be a part of it. That doesn't take away a GMs right to shape the club in his image. I would simply say, moving an asset like Kessel for the sake of an identifiable personal stamp would be grounds for dismissal in my books. I was glad to hear that although there may be discussion about Phil Kessel, it's one way, Nonis is listening, but isn't shopping.

Not moving the M5 well before they were labeled as such might have been the collective mistake that but for keeping them, could the Leafs have truly set this club up for a decade of success.

Phil Kessel, would have been exactly the type of player we would have been lucky to procure (and almost did with Kaberle +) as one of those assets upon which to build a sound foundation...and we want to trade this guy?



I think we need to wait for Lupul to return, for Gardiner to return, and for a few other moves before we start entertaining what Kessel could do elsewhere.

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02-06-2013, 11:16 PM
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Thats the way she goes.

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02-06-2013, 11:24 PM
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We'd still suck.

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02-06-2013, 11:30 PM
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Thats the way she goes.

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02-06-2013, 11:32 PM
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All I know is that they shouldn't have pushed Mats Sundin out the door the way that they did. It was and is a huge blemish on this team.

I remember when Chris Philips re-signed in Ottawa, JP Barry (Sundin's agent) remarked how Sundin could have played many more years in Toronto if the Leafs hadn't treated him so badly.

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02-06-2013, 11:32 PM
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We'd still suck.
You think we would of still missed the playoffs for 8 straight years? I mean spending to the cap every year. Highest paid management and front office in the league. Over 53% of the teams make the playoffs every year. It's a mathematical anomaly that we missed so long.

I think you would have a better chance of flipping a coin 8 times and getting heads every time then you would to top the leafs futility.

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02-07-2013, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Guy Boucher View Post
All I know is that they shouldn't have pushed Mats Sundin out the door the way that they did. It was and is a huge blemish on this team.

I remember when Chris Philips re-signed in Ottawa, JP Barry (Sundin's agent) remarked how Sundin could have played many more years in Toronto if the Leafs hadn't treated him so badly.
That's why Sundin played only a part of one more season in the NHL. The team asked him to leave because they were trying to blow the whole thing up and start fresh. His refusal and, I believe, coercion of others to not "quit on the team" set this club back almost a decade. The club is just now pulling out of the tailspin that was created in the wake of those decisions.

to the OP: I thought that the problem was that we were forced to keep the muskoka five.

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02-07-2013, 12:09 AM
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Why can't we just let go? As a fan base? Of anything?

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02-07-2013, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
All of this talk about the Leafs "turning the page" on Phil Kessel just because he's a 'Burke Guy' has re-opened some uglier memories about how shallow the Leafs and MLSE are, and how the corporate notion of "appearing to get something done" is more important than actually doing something right.

This has me thinking back to when Cliff Fletcher was brought back a second time to "clear the decks" in the most unproductive, scorched earth rebuild that has probably ever taken place in the NHL. I know a lot of fans will still villanize the veterans who wouldn't leave, instead of blaming the GM who depreciated their value to the point where we were giving away a Bryan McCabe and a pick to get Mike Van Ryn (why did this need to happen anyway?), but let's put that all aside.

How would the Leafs rebuild have looked post 2008 if we had simply kept our veterans? What if we re-committed to Mats that offseason for one more season, just let Bryan McCabe play out his contract in Toronto, didn't rush to trade Kubina for Garnett Exelby, didn't buy out Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood or Andrew Raycroft?

What would a Leafs rebuild have looked like if we had drafted and promoted our rookies, brought in Brian Burke, still made the Kessel deal with those existing veterans to help out Luke Schenn like Ottawa did by keeping certain veterans around? Would we have made the playoffs at any point between 2009 and 2012?
Toronto was rebuilding just fine until Burke and Wilson came in and
screwed it all up. We would have had way better first round picks than we have now. At least Fletcher had the right idea to pick as high as possible in the draft. He just took the completely wrong player.

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02-07-2013, 12:22 AM
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That's why Sundin played only a part of one more season in the NHL. The team asked him to leave because they were trying to blow the whole thing up and start fresh. His refusal and, I believe, coercion of others to not "quit on the team" set this club back almost a decade. The club is just now pulling out of the tailspin that was created in the wake of those decisions.

to the OP: I thought that the problem was that we were forced to keep the muskoka five.
So it is Sundin who caused all this......

Too funny and so wrong!

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02-07-2013, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by diceman934 View Post
So it is Sundin who caused all this......

Too funny and so wrong!
the result of his decision not to waive his NTC is quite plain. Had he retired at the end of the season when he gave his impassioned speech about how for him it had to be october to june and otherwise the process for him would be tainted and then put the lie to his words by signing with the canucks halfway through the next season i might have a different opinion.

so yes Sundin being mercenary enough to go after a payday when he said he's not interested in being a hired gun and being the captain of the leafs who lead by example by not waiving his NTC put the team in a bind whereby they had no assets coming in for all the ones going out the door.

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02-07-2013, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Urban Explorer View Post
Well we've missed the playoffs for 8 straight years. So I would say that any difference in the club over the last 8 years most likely would of produced better results. 8 straight years... how hard would that be to top?
You have to keep in mind the end result (today's most current team) would be alot worse off, and we sill wouldn't have a stanley cup. Say goodbye to your draft picks since then (Kessel, JVR, Kadri, Rielly). We are far better off without the muskoka regardless of the higher 9th place finish or 8th place first round exit team the leafs would be with them.

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02-07-2013, 01:12 AM
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Actually, it seems like a lot of you guys really drank that Fletcher/Peddie kool-aid.

A rebuild is only beneficial when you're getting assets to move forward, not as a PR move where you cut your nose off to spite your face.

A quieter tactic in keeping the Muskoka Five probably would have meant Sundin staying for a couple more years, which would have provided more stability for the rebuild to take place, for Luke Schenn to be put into the lineup without as much burden to be the next franchise player and if the Kessel deal had still been made, those first rounders probably would have been a little less valuable and Kessel's tenure probably woud have transitioned more smoothly without the scrutiny.

Not publicly defaming McCabe, Kubina and Tucker probably would have yielded a bit more co-operation as we're seeing with Luongo in Vancouver, not to mention at least some decent return that would have been more productive than Exelby, Van Ryn and dead cap space.

Moral of the story, don't make dumb "deck clearing" moves for the sake of looking busy.

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02-07-2013, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bomber0104 View Post
Toronto was rebuilding just fine until Burke and Wilson came in and
screwed it all up. We would have had way better first round picks than we have now. At least Fletcher had the right idea to pick as high as possible in the draft. He just took the completely wrong player.

Toronto was rebuilding just fine!?

We had far less prospect depth, no real AHL team to speak of , etc, etc...There was NO rebuild going on. We had an interm GM who subsequently hired Wilson and ultimately Burke was brought in. And he had managed to trade Alex Steen for a song. And where criticism of mishandling of the Muskoka Five could be attributed to Leafs Mgmt, it was under Fletcher that much was cut and little brought in. HM to the Grabovski nab.

It was Fletcher that selected Schenn at 5 and Burke who turned Schenn into JVR.

When Burke had the 5 pick, he selected the best offensive defenceman in the draft.

It's amazing how just giving it your best works for the person selecting a subpar asset -- a defensive defenceman at the number 5 spot and who then goes on to hire Wilson and Burke -- the targets of so many critics here -- but it's not an acceptable standard given the superior effort/outcome Burke gave after Fletcher.

Astounding. Only in Toronto.

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02-07-2013, 01:17 AM
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What if we kept our draft picks? I don't see the point of this thread

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02-07-2013, 01:17 AM
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Fletcher screwed up with picking Schenn and dealing Steen...and considering those were his biggest moves, Id say he failed as an interim.

He was on the right track with picking high in the draft but Morrisson got it wrong.

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02-07-2013, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ITM View Post
Toronto was rebuilding just fine!?

We had far less prospect depth, no real AHL team to speak of , etc, etc...There was NO rebuild going on. We had an interm GM who subsequently hired Wilson and ultimately Burke was brought in. And he had managed to trade Alex Steen for a song. And where criticism of mishandling of the Muskoka Five could be attributed to Leafs Mgmt, it was under Fletcher that much was cut and little brought in. HM to the Grabovski nab.

It was Fletcher that selected Schenn at 5 and Burke who turned Schenn into JVR.

When Burke had the 5 pick, he selected the best offensive defenceman in the draft.

It's amazing how just giving it your best works for the person selecting a subpar asset -- a defensive defenceman at the number 5 spot and who then goes on to hire Wilson and Burke -- the targets of so many critics here -- but it's not an acceptable standard given the superior effort/outcome Burke gave after Fletcher.

Astounding. Only in Toronto.
Yes Toronto was rebuilding just fine. Fletcher didn't deal multiple first round picks away during his time here.

He traded Steen and that was a joke but apparently Wilson hated him and Cola alot.

So like I said before, before Wilson and Burke got here, Toronto looked like they were heading in the right direction.

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02-07-2013, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Bomber0104 View Post
Yes Toronto was rebuilding just fine. Fletcher didn't deal multiple first round picks away during his time here.

He traded Steen and that was a joke but apparently Wilson hated him and Cola alot.

So like I said before, before Wilson and Burke got here, Toronto looked like they were heading in the right direction.
Fletcher dealt two first rounders away, just like Burke. Only Steen and Colaiacovo got us Lee Stempniak, who failed to hit 30 goals in the two seasons combined he played here.

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02-07-2013, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Bomber0104 View Post
Yes Toronto was rebuilding just fine. Fletcher didn't deal multiple first round picks away during his time here.

He traded Steen and that was a joke but apparently Wilson hated him and Cola alot.

So like I said before, before Wilson and Burke got here, Toronto looked like they were heading in the right direction.
So again, you'll have no problem actually listing verifiable assets Fletcher acquired vs Burke's haul, right? Like you're not just going to generalize, blurt out some claim that can't actually be referenced in fact, and dash, right?

So...How many 1st round selections did Fletcher deal/acquire and how many did Burke deal/acquire?

Incidentally, the year Fletcher selected Schenn...Burke chose Gardiner.

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02-07-2013, 01:34 AM
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What if we kept our draft picks? I don't see the point of this thread
This.

What if we didn't trade for Kessel?

What if we didn't trade for Raycroft? Or for Toskala?

What if Sundin waved his NTC when a deal was apparently in place?

What if we traded Kaberle and a 1st for Pronger? Kaberle and a package for Jeff Carter?

Who cares - we didn't, so deal with it.

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02-07-2013, 01:37 AM
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the result of his decision not to waive his NTC is quite plain. Had he retired at the end of the season when he gave his impassioned speech about how for him it had to be october to june and otherwise the process for him would be tainted and then put the lie to his words by signing with the canucks halfway through the next season i might have a different opinion.

so yes Sundin being mercenary enough to go after a payday when he said he's not interested in being a hired gun and being the captain of the leafs who lead by example by not waiving his NTC put the team in a bind whereby they had no assets coming in for all the ones going out the door.
Sundin fulfilled his contract and was a UFA and signed with the Canucks.....negotiated the right to do so. Blaming him for doing so is wrong as he did nothing wrong.

He took his time before deciding that he wanted to play again the following year.....Burke shot his mouth off and stated something along the lines that Sundin had more money than God and did not need money etc.....what he did not say is that he ( Burke )did not want him back unless he signed a normal contract that gave him the right to trade him.....

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02-07-2013, 01:46 AM
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Sundin fulfilled his contract and was a UFA and signed with the Canucks.....negotiated the right to do so. Blaming him for doing so is wrong as he did nothing wrong.

He took his time before deciding that he wanted to play again the following year.....Burke shot his mouth off and stated something along the lines that Sundin had more money than God and did not need money etc.....what he did not say is that he ( Burke )did not want him back unless he signed a normal contract that gave him the right to trade him.....
You may side with Sundin, and choose to be highly critical of the way the organization treated Mats during that period of several months, and you'd probably find a lot of people here that agree with you.

But let's not pretend as though Leafs fans had no cause for being upset at Sundin's decision to join the Canucks. The general mood of the time was one of betrayal and heartbreak, especially given what he had said just a few months before hand.

Sure he exercised his right to be a free agent and sign with whomever he wishes. But it was the way that it all happened, combined with particular quotes from Mats that got beaten up in the media, that upset a lot of people. Those that were upset, had every right to be.

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02-07-2013, 03:41 AM
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We wouldn't still be seeing Darcy Tuckers buyout on the cap.

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