Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
Burke said he is “excited” to see what Kaberle can do with some of the veteran defencemen he acquired, particularly Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin.
“Say your first (defensive unit) is Kaberle and Komisarek,” Burke said. “Kaberle is not picking his teeth out of the glass all night (anymore). I’m excited about that.
“There’s some notion that everyone has to be tough on a hockey team. They don’t. You have to surround your skill guys with enough size and toughness that they can play their game. And I think that’s what we’ve done.”
Burke reiterated his belief that the club’s so-called skill players—Mikhail Grabovski, Jason Blake, etc—could enjoy excellent seasons because they now are surrounded with sandpaper.
“I believe that toughness and fear are contagious,” the GM said. “And I count on improved performance from some of those kids just because we’re bigger and meaner.”
from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes at Newsday,
That’s the word in hockey circles in Toronto, where rumors bounce up and around in a major media echo chamber. Rangers are not confirming anything, not even whether a decision on whether to sign or reject the right winger’s $3.9-million arbitration award is coming today.
Do the whispers make sense?
Perhaps. Leafs czar Brian Burke needs scoring and has an excess of defensemen. Zherdev can put up 25-plus on the first line. although the press scrutiny will be intense.
via the Twitter of Ben Hankinson of Octagon,
Calgary trades C Wayne Primeau to Toronto for LW Colin Stuart and D Anton Stralman.
added 6:55pm, from RDS (translated),
The CEO of the Toronto Maple Leafs Brian Burke continued the reorganization of his team by acquiring the services of the Flames forward Wayne Primeau to Calgary on Monday.
In return, the Leafs have assigned left winger Colin Stuart and defenseman Anton Strålman
Calgary, AB - Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today the acquisition of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colin Stuart and defenseman Anton Stralman along with Toronto’s 7th round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for forward Wayne Primeau and Calgary’s 2nd round pick in 2011.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
“We absolutely need to look at term limits,” Burke told THN.com Friday afternoon, before embarking on a week-long west coast vacation with his wife. “I personally do not believe some players have any intention of fulfilling some of these long-term contracts.”
Another rule Burke has lobbied to change for some time is the so-called “four-recall rule,” which limits NHL teams to just four player promotions from their American League affiliate after the trade deadline – as long as that AHL affiliate is still in contention for a playoff spot or playing in the post-season; if their affiliate is out of the playoff mix, there is no limit as to the number of players an NHL team can call up.
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke expects Tomas Kaberle to be in the lineup on opening night, and will be shocked if the defenceman is not.
Burke made the comments on Thursday during a press conference where former NHLer Dave Poulin was introduced as the club’s new vice-president of Hockey Operations.
“I’d have to be blown away,” Burke said in response to moving Kaberle before the season. “But that hasn’t happened and I don’t see what happening.”
from Damien Cox of the Spin at the Toronto Star,
More than 30 years ago, when Dave Poulin was skating for the Dixie Beehives junior club in Mississauga, he couldn’t get a single NHL team interested in drafting him.
Today, he’s found a new home with one of the league’s most historic clubs.
The Star has learned that Poulin, 50, will be announced at 10 a.m. today as the new vice-president of player development for the Maple Leafs, essentially moving into the third slot in the Leaf executive lineup behind president/GM Brian Burke and his right-hand man, Dave Nonis.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
It has been five years since he was drafted 90th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and more than three years since he backstopped Canada to a gold medal victory at the world junior championship. And after a disastrous NHL debut, it has been months since anyone within the franchise referred to the 23-year-old as the franchise’s goaltender of the future.
Instead, with the team having recently signed Swedish free agent Jonas Gustavsson to challenge for the Leafs’ No. 1 spot—and with prospect James Reimer expected to start the season for the Toronto Marlies—Pogge is now in danger of being the goaltender who is simply forgotten.
“Justin Pogge is basically comparable to a child actor, who’s had success at a young age and just can’t handle it mentally,” said Steve McKichan, who was the Leafs’ goaltending coach from 2005-06 through 2007-08.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
He will hang up the “Gone Fishing” sign and head for a remote part of B.C. next week with some of his hockey pals, but if you know Brian Burke, you can bet he is never completely closed for business.
It’s been an active and productive week for the Maple Leafs general manager and, by anyone’s measure, no team has done more to re-tool its roster.
By virtue of their stoutly bolstered defence, the Leafs are already a markedly different team in both style and substance. Add the acquisition of free-agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson this week and the Leafs shouldn’t be anywhere near the liability they were in their own end this past season.
“We’re not doing a traditional model here, people should figure that out. You look at the pre-cap rebuilding jobs, you look at Ottawa and you look at Pittsburgh, and basically the philosophy was, ‘Let’s finish dead last or next to dead last for 4-5 years and get top picks and we’ll turn it around.’ I don’t see any reason to repeat that here. I don’t think our fans here would be that patient. As long as they see a plan, I think they’ll be patient for a retooling, but not a demolition.
“Stripping down to the chassis and rebuilding it is certainly not what ownership has asked me to do. We’re not rebuilding here, we’re retooling.”
-Leafs GM Brian Burke. More on Burke and the Leafs from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
A Swedish source told Sportsnet the long awaited decision by Jonas Gustavsson is over as he’s decided to start his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
An announcement is expected as early as today as “The Monster” signed off on a 1-year, $900,000 to start the 09-10 season backing up Vesa Toskola.
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