I swear I didn't take that title from anywhere. Anyways as many of you readers know already, Brian Burke was relieved of his duties as Gm and head of Hockey Operations by the two-headed behemoth that is Rogers and Bell, and Dave Nonis will replace (from here until who knows) him.
Now, I'm sure I'm not the only person who was at a loss of words. Burke was going into his final year, and had a lot to lose this season, so many expected big things out of him. Not only that, but he had quite a successful, albeit quiet, off-season (in the fact that he didn't trade away draft picks mind you) that could have led to more before seasons start. Oh yeah, mentioning that, THE FREAKING SEASON STARTS IN 10 DAYS! Why the HELL would you fire the guy you let run the whole shebang the WHOLE off-season just to can him before he can even watch his team take the ice for the first time? This really is fitting, from a Leaf Fan standpoint, to see this happen truthfully. And theres one blatantly obvious reason: He didn't want Luongo.
You see, after reading various reports, I've come to the conclusion everyone BUT Burke wanted Luongo, but he wouldn't budge. Hearing what Vancouver wanted for Luo (Gardiner, Kadri, Colbourne, Frattin, etc) I can see why. However, this wasn't liked by the heads at Rogers and Bell. Don't tell us that this plan has been in the making for "a while" cause that's just ludacris. I guess this is the Maple Laughs
we are dealing with, however, so it seems like of all teams to do this, they are.
Nonis will have the honor to announce the Luongo trade when it happens. All quite ironic, if you ask me, that Nonis has replaced Burke twice now, Vancouver and now Toronto. I like what Nonis did in bringing in Luongo to Vancouver, however this is a completely different circumstance. Luongo hasn't aged like a fine cheese, he's shown he has some holes as he gets older. And don't even get me started on the contract. I truly believe starting with Reimer will be the best option in the long run. HOWEVER, I will give Nonis the benefit of the doubt for now, and if he likes what he sees, then that's his decision.
Interesting things that I've thought about / read on Twitter: a) Is getting Getzlaf now seem like an impossibility? b) What would the Leafs get for Kessel? Getzlaf seemed like one of the players Burke wanted the most, and with his impending Free-Agency next season, it seemed like he could be a Maple Leaf come Trade Deadline. With this Burke hoopla though, I can't see it happening, although I've been wrong (many times) before. Regarding Kessel, Mike Brophy on Twitter today raised an interesing comment:
If Dave Nonis wants to prove he is not Brian Burke II, he will move Phil Kessel as soon as possible. Needs to close door on that chapter.
I first wondered why Nonis would even consider this, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. As much as I love Kessel, I just don't see the Leafs being a playoff team anytime soon. Why not try and maximize the value you could get for Kessel? To even consider a trade, it would have to match or be greater than the initial trade that brought him to TO I believe, and even then I would have to think about it some more. Brophy mentioned teams like Florida, Columbus and the Islanders as teams that would have interest, and all three have prospects / picks that could get the job done. Nonis say's he doesn't want to rebuild, but look where the previous GM who said that ended up Dave.
One final thought: I sure am gunna miss the charity work the Burke Family has done to Toronto, and it made me glad to hear Patrick Burke was going to continue the You Can Play foundation. Thanks a lot, Burke family, for continuing to be positive after all the TO media has put you through. Oh and I'm in that HockeyyInsiderr's Yahoo Fantasy League, for anyone that cares, and I have him first week. HE'S GOING DOWNNNNNNN.