The worst kept secret in hockey history was finally announced yesterday. Brian Burke is now the President and General Manager of The Toronto Maple Leafs. As a Leaf fan I’m thrilled at his appointment to these positions. People can conjurer up as many negatives as they wish, but for the first time in a long time the Leafs got this one right. They now have someone guiding them with a presence.
Unfortunately Burke’s predecessor (not counting “The Silver Fox” Cliff Fletcher) John Ferguson Jr. didn’t have the moxy to survive in this market. It should be noted however he probably didn’t have the support from the powers that be either. JFJ’s hiring is squarely to be blamed on Richard Peddie and the board of directors, who tried to outsmart themselves by hiring someone who wasn’t prepared to deal with the scrutiny and had under developed leadership skills. He was doomed to fail from the beginning.
With Burke being the head honcho I have no such worries. Yesterday during his press conference to announce his signing he outlined how he would like his squad to play. He listed is pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence as key ingredients that his players would have to display on a daily basis. As a fan nothing excites me more to know that my team will be in this mold. I’m not naive enough to think that Burke will change this squad over night, but his hiring leads the way for clear and concise direction for the squad over the 5 years.
The many Leaf detractors will have nothing positive to say about his hiring. They will most likely try to find any reason such as his nationality to why he’s not the right guy for the job. The bottom line is he’s a proven winner and someone who won’t sit by and watch the cars go by. I for one am excited about the Leafs prospects for the first time in a long time.