Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/29/12 at 07:49 AM ET
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
How close are the Maple Leafs to turning around their on-ice fortunes when the NHL’s principals figure out how to divvy up theirs?
The way Brian Burke has told it, they’re very close. This is a team, the president and GM has said, that “could have made the playoffs” the past two seasons.
“We could have traded this pick in the draft, gotten a 30-year-old, somehow (squeaked) in,”he said back in April....
Indeed, there’s reason to be optimistic in Leafland. Pro sports is designed to be idiot proof, after all, and sometimes the design even works. In the past 10 seasons, all 30 NHL teams have been to the post-season at least once — even the Leafs. It’ll be nine years since the last Toronto-based playoff game come April.
Then again, on questions of playoff worthiness, Burke is clearly the only guy to ask. He’s certainly the only human being on this planet with keen enough powers of observation to separate eighth-place pretenders from Stanley Cup contenders. Leaf fans (and Burke’s Leaf bossmen) are justifiably wondering when he’ll use those rare talents to create a defining moment that doesn’t involve a press conference.
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