At the beginning of May BCP presented what we felt would be Brian Burke's offseason wish list. With the Kaberle deal completed, we'd like to review the list and see what the GM was able to achieve in his second offseason at the helm.
A First Line Centre: Nope. The free agent group got thin before things ever got going when Marleau signed an extension with the Sharks. It quickly became clear that getting a true first-liner would require a trade and Burke decided that wingers were a more urgent priority.
A First Round Draft Pick: Nope. When Kaberle didn't move at the draft it was clear that the Leafs wouldn't have a first round pick this year. They were able to acquire a solid 2nd rounder in Brad Ross but Burkie was unable to reel in the coveted first round selection.
A Home for Jeff Finger: I don't think anyone expected him to get moved to another team but the possibility of the AHL or Europe remains. If the Leafs can fit him under the cap then they'll keep him (he's better than his reputation in Leaf-Nation though not nearly as good as his contract). If they have cap issues, expect to see him buried somewhere.
Tamper With the Vancouver Canucks: Maybe. If he has, he hasn't been caught. I'm waiting for the Sedins to hit Luongo over the head with a folding chair and peel off their Blue and Greens to reveal the Maple Leaf sweaters beneath.
More Toughness in the Bottom Six: Yes. The additions of Mike Brown and Colby Armstrong should bolster the bottom two forward lines nicely and take some of the pugilist pressure off of Colton Orr. Not only that, both are reasonably good penalty-killers which is an area in which the Leafs certainly needed to improve.
A Bidding War on Tomas Kaberle: Apparently not enough of one. Tomas Kaberle remains a Leaf, his no-trade clause is back intact and the Leafs have more defensemen than Tim Horton's has donuts.
All-in-all a lot of holes remain on this team. I'm sure that we'll hear a lot of damage control about Kaberle being an invaluable asset to the team and while I do feel that he's a top offensive defenseman, what we need are forwards. If this roster is the group that we enter the season with, it's going to be a challenging year for the Maple Leafs.
Agreed - let's hope burkie can still find some good scraps leftover in the FA market ... Otherwise, it's gonna be another long year!
It's probably going to take very good goaltending and a big shift in our special team numbers to make it happen. It isn't outside the realm of possibility but it wont be easy either.
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