<![CDATA[Matt Reitz · Storify]]>https://storify.com/ViewFromMySeatsNodeJS RSS ModuleTue, 23 May 2017 12:47:20 GMT<![CDATA[Brian Burke and the nightmare of the Toronto Maple Leafs]]>

Now that Ron Wilson has fulfilled his scapegoat duties for the season, the Toronto media and fans have turned their guns on GM Brian Burke...

Storified by Matt Reitz · Mon, Mar 26 2012 23:32:11

In the eye of the storm sits Leafs GM Brian Burke, who for good or ill is clearly the face of the franchise. Even though he has effectively been put on notice by some vocal fans and columnists, most acknowledge that he’s not going anywhere with two years remaining on his contract. He also benefits from the fact that Rogers and Bell, the new owners set to take possession of their new toy, MLSE, still have much to deal with before they get the keys to the franchise.

Many blame the pressure of playing in the city as the main catalyst for the failure, but the reality of the situation is that the team’s management is apparently incapable of putting a competitive team on the ice. It was supposed to be all about truculence and pugnacity. The solution? Burke goes out and trades for one of the softest, one-dimensional players in the league.

Finally there came a few cathartic boos, but even those were more out of habit. And then -- at last -- a faint, phonetic chorus: "Fi-re Bur-erke, Fi-re Bur-erke". The notion that even a small portion of the ACC crowd -- a gentle beast when fed just the smallest scraps of hope -- would turn on hockey's ultimate ring master was unthinkable even a month ago.

Before tonight's game, dozens of radio hosts and reporters were asking if the fans were gonna chant "Fire Burke".  What are you trying to accomplish?  Are you trying to motivate people to yell it?  Are you trying to rile up the masses and become a big-shot?  Allow me to make glue of the high-horse you rode in on.

msnbc.com Video Player · MSNBC

“I’d say he’s on the cusp,” said Glenn Rowe, director of the executive MBA program at Western University’s Richard Ivey School of Business. “My sense is that in most businesses, when you’re at the CEO or COO level, you get about three or four years to prove your worth.” Burke, a master orator, has positioned himself as a prominent face of the organization since his arrival. That he has done so means his job security rides even more on the team’s performance than it might otherwise, Rowe said. “If your organization performs well . . . you’re probably going to last longer. But if you put yourself out there like that, the risk is when things don’t go so well you’re not going to last,” he said. “Everyone blames you, and they have no one else to blame, really, because you’ve taken it upon yourself.”

Burke created this monster, quite admirably in fact. When he fired Wilson, he acknowledged that the "Fire Wilson!" chants at home games helped necessitate it. Thus, he bestowed upon the mortals the power of influence, and they're now attempting to weaponize it against their Creator. So Burke started this fire, and it's either going to consume him and his well-compensated Cabinet or he's going to be the one that extinguishes it by turning the Leafs around.

I’m very sorry that the Leafs (apparently) aren’t heading to the playoffs. And no doubt, well-apprised fans have all sorts of ideas for improving the team’s performance. But when did we, as a society, decide that losing at sports is some kind of moral sin — one that requires public shaming, histrionic lamentations, and the sort of grand appeals for “forgiveness” (Feschuk’s word) that we more traditionally associate with the legacy of Indian residential schools? Feschuk informs me that a pair of Leafs gold-section season tickets cost $16,000 per year. That’s a lot of money. But anyone who pays that price isn’t “owed” anything — except the right to be admitted to the arena and watch 60 minutes of NHL hockey.

But hey, this wasn't the first time that people had called for Burke's job.  In fact, it wasn't even the first time someone called for his job in the month of March...

Don Cherry is really trying to get Brian Burke fired, too funny!

HNIC - Don Cherry Coach's Corner. Cherry Blasting Brian Burke. March 3rd 2012 · xxxcrosby87xx

Burke’s tenure in Toronto, let’s be clear, could not be going worse. This season could not be more of an epic failure. The Leafs have no No. 1 goalie, no stud defenceman, no star centreman. They crashed miserably as a Wilson-coached run-and-gun team. They’re going to need a massive overhaul to even know if they can be halfway successful as a Carlyle-coached blood-and-guts unit. Wonderful Phil Kessel represents everything flawed with Burke’s methodology. The GM’s team is so far removed from being a Stanley Cup contender, it’s laughable.

But is that really true?  Have people forgotten just about bad this team was when he took over for John Ferguson, Jr. (or Cliff Fletcher)?

The point is – if fans and media pressure the team to fire Burke, I would have a hard time believing that they could find an upgrade for the GM job. I’ll say it flat out – it would be a mistake. I acknowledge that Burke may only get this team up to “fringe” playoff status next season, and it will be three years before he could get them into “Cup contender” status. And sure, that means that in the end it would take him 6.5 years to get it done. But you can’t speed up that process without a No.1 center and a top goaltender, and they don’t grow on trees. Would the Leafs be a Cup contender with Henrik Lundqvist and Pavel Datsyuk added in place of Tim Connolly and Jonas Gustavsson? Yep. But there is no easy way to get such players, so the 6.5 years thing may have to suffice.

Or is this closer to the truth?

Now, more than ever, the heat is on Burke. When he arrived in Toronto in 2008, Burke promised to build a team that would physically dominate the opposition. Tuesday night's debacle proves his team is a million miles away from backing that up. For a guy that is supposed to have a plan -- or a blueprint, as he calls it -- the Leafs are no closer to being a playoff team now than when he burst on the scene. That was Burke's Leafs that got their butts kicked in Boston; not John Ferguson Jr.'s team and not Cliff Fletcher's team. Fletcher, you may recall, took over for a brief time as GM after the Leafs fired JFJ. Many are questioning if Burke is the right man for the job. No wonder why.

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http://storify.com/ViewFromMySeats/brian-burke-and-the-nightmare-of-the-toronto-maplehttp://storify.com/ViewFromMySeats/brian-burke-and-the-nightmare-of-the-toronto-mapleMon, 26 Mar 2012 23:32:11 GMT
<![CDATA[What are people saying about the Trade Deadline?]]>

The trade deadline was a little, shall we say, underwhelming this year. But just because there weren't any huge trades, it doesn't mean there wasn't plenty of chatter surrounding the deals that WERE made...

Storified by Matt Reitz · Tue, Feb 28 2012 05:55:26

The Morning Sports Report · Greater Columbus Sports Commission

Few General Managers, with the possible exception of Glen Sather, have been ridiculed more for their performances on the first day of free agency or the trade deadline than Flames boss Jay Feaster. He continued to add to that legacy today, failing to bring in anyone to bolster the team’s chances of making a run at a playoff spot and leaving the team to be carried to that promised land by red hot goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff. His condescending remarks at his press conference following the deadline also rang hollow, as he insulted fans’ intelligence by reiterating that trades were difficult, and seemingly laughing off the “ignorance” of those who think that his inaction was a bad thing. Breaking news Jay: your inaction is a bad thing, and fans are right to criticize you for not making any moves to push your team forward. Maintaining the status quo may work for a team like Toronto who has some good prospects for success going forward, but to feel that your team does also, and to mock those who don’t agree, is staggeringly short-sighted.

Brian Rolston... he's back in Boston.
2000-01 Brian Rolston -Boston Alternate Set Rear · Mego-Matt

The market was brutal. Few teams were out of the playoff race, and those teams re-signed some of the potential rentals, thinning the crop further. Poile might have preferred some other players – like winger Ales Hemsky, whom the Edmonton Oilers gave a two-year, $10 million deal last week. But he had to choose among the players available, and he had to pay the going rate. “I think the prices that I paid are high,” Poile said. “They’re higher than maybe in past years. The parity in the league has made it that way. If you know what you want, you’ve got to pay the price. Maybe I paid a little bit more.”

NHL Trade Deadline Special · ESPN

And that was the story of the day, and the story of a league. In general, if your team was a contender before the deadline, it is a contender now. If your team was on the bubble before, it’s on the bubble now. Other than Nashville and Vancouver — who met in the second round last season, and who both have pressures weighing on their shoulder pads — and possibly Boston, there was little of immediate and obvious significance, as far as a Stanley Cup was concerned.

The NY Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers didn’t blow up their rosters for Columbus’ Rick Nash. The Washington Capitals didn’t trade Alexander Semin, nor did the Anaheim Ducks part with Teemu Selanne or Bobby Ryan. The LA Kings didn’t part with team captain Dustin Brown after all. That, of course, has been par for the course under this CBA and the salary cap, when teams aren’t willing to saddle themselves with salaries they might be unable to dump if the players acquired fail to pan out.

Canucks get Sedin Kryptonite, Sami Pahlsson...good depth shutdown guy, and prevents Detroit from getting him. Deal with Buffalo about to be announced....

Zack Kassian blindside hit on Petr Senkerik // Canada vs Czech Republic WJHC · jtutah
Paul Gaustad · BuffaloSabres
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http://storify.com/ViewFromMySeats/what-are-people-saying-about-the-trade-deadlinehttp://storify.com/ViewFromMySeats/what-are-people-saying-about-the-trade-deadlineTue, 28 Feb 2012 05:55:26 GMT
<![CDATA[Carter traded to the Kings]]>

So how are people reacting to the Jeff Carter trade to Los Angeles?

Storified by Matt Reitz · Fri, Feb 24 2012 10:35:23

This blockbuster move comes with the Kings having won once in their last seven games and twice in their last 10, and Lombardi said the situation was "snowballing." The Kings pulled the trigger on a major deal four days before the NHL's trade deadline.

Jeff Carter hat trick 2/21/12 · nhlvideo

In short, he can’t screw this up. He can’t slip back into bad habits with his buddy. He has to move on the way he didn’t in Columbus, and he has to mature into the man and the player he can be.

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http://storify.com/ViewFromMySeats/carter-traded-to-the-kingshttp://storify.com/ViewFromMySeats/carter-traded-to-the-kingsFri, 24 Feb 2012 10:35:23 GMT