Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/12/13 at 08:29 AM ET
from Damien Cox of The Spin at the Toronto Star,
The team that over the past three decades has been synonymous with rushing, wrecking and prematurely disposing of young hockey players appears to have finally grasped the concept that approach won't get it anywhere. This is the franchise, after all, that started three teenagers on the blueline in the early 1980s, put Luke Richardson in the NHL at age 18, dealt 20-year-old first rounder Scott Pearson in a desperate attempt not to finish dead last, insisted Jeff Ware was NHL ready at 19, force fed 18-year-old Luke Schenn to the league and traded away Brad Boyes, Tuukka Rask and Alex Steen before they even knew what they had.
Maybe the leopard can change its spots. Right now, underpinning the club's strong start is a philosophy that wasting kids and draft picks is no longer going to happen in Toronto. It was established by Brian Burke, but his decision to trade away high picks for Phil Kessel obscured it from view.
Now, under Dave Nonis and with the team 8-5 early in this lockout shortened season, the apparent end to the bad old days can be more clearly seen.
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