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Was Brian Burke drunk?

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Rorty

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<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/images/upload/2009/09/kessel_burke_205x115.jpg" class="imageFloatRightFramed">An abysmal team like the Leafs already get too much attention on these boards without me tossing my two cents into the growing pile of change, but I simply have to get something off my chest.

I want to know exactly what the hell the Leafs were thinking with that Kessel deal. Seriously, what were they thinking when they did that deal?

I really like Dave Nonis and think his unwavering commitment to his own vision was what eventually led to his dismissal in Vancouver. I have generally agreed with Dave's thinking – even the Chouinard and and Bulis signings, which were calculated gambles that didn't pan out – but Kessel?

Let's look at this.

The deal was Kessel for a first and a second round pick in 2010, and a first round pick in 2011.

Toronto just stinks. That's a given. They are guaranteed a bottom five finish for this season and next – barring some <a href="

target=_new>Disneyesque miracle</a> that would see Kurt Russell step behind the bench and push the Leafs to an Olympic gold medal with Emelio Esteves riding shot gun.

<img src="http://blog.ugo.com/images/uploads/snake_plissken_efny.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">Assuming <a href="

target=_new>Kurt "Snake Pliskin" Russell</a> doesn't rescue President Burke from post-apocalypse Toronto, the Leafs are trading two picks that can be no worse than fifth overall… and a second-rounder.

I will try to apply some real-world perspective on this by looking back a few seasons.

Let's say the dice don't roll the Leafs' way and they end up with third overall picks this year and next, and never do get a first-overall (as we know the NHL uses a weighted lottery system to determine which of the bottom five teams actually get the first overall pick). And for the sake of this discussion, let's ignore the fact that experts are as high on the 2010 draft class as <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Feiw_etAra0" target=_new>Britney is on Youtube</a>.

We'll also ignore the past three drafts because those youngsters have yet to really find their game at the NHL level.

So, exactly what did the Leafs surrender to acquire Kessel?

The top five picks in 2006 were: Erik Johnson, Jordan Staal, Jonathan Toews, Nicklas Backstrom and yes, Phil Kessel himself. Assuming the Leafs hit the sweet spot and picked third, they would have Toews.

We have to throw out 2005 because it was the post-lockout draft and was as ripe with two season's worth of talent, but the top five was: Sidney Crosby, Bobby Ryan, Jack Johnson, Benoit Pouliot and Carey Price. For the record, it would've been Johnson.

<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/blackhawks/images/upload/2009/08/CB306x172.gif" class="imageFloatRightFramed">The 2004 year went: Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Cam Barker, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler. Again, eliminating the possibility that the Leafs might've actually gone off the chart and dipped for a player like, say Wojtek Wolski (21st) or Mike Green (29th), the Leafs would've ended up with Barker.

The third pick in 2003? Nathan Horton. In 2002, Jay Bouwmeester. In 2001, Aleander Svitov. In 2000, Marian Gaborik.

The top second round picks from 2006 and earlier were: Tomas Kana, James Neal, Alex Edler & Johan Franzen, Patrice Bergeron & Shea Weber, Jarret Stoll & Trevor Daley.

THUS, we can project that the Leafs gave up a Jonathan Toews and Cam Barker (and possibly Nathan Horton/Jay Bouwmeester), along with a second round player that's somewhere between Tomas Kana, Johan Franzen and Shea Weber.

Good deal? What the hell were they thinking?

Ignoring the possibility that the two-headed Burk-onis creature is actually an evil double agent and is doing the rest of Canada a favour by running the franchise into the ground, the only other plausible explanation is that the duo has already abandoned their plan to build through the draft, and instead, attempting to secure a solid young player like Kessel who they can build around in free agency.

Either that or they're just drunk. It's 50/50.

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We sent him there as a double agent to sabotage the Leafs and ensure that they remain as they did in the Ballard era. :lol:

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All you've done is overrate a bunch of picks. Phil Kessel is the least of the Leafs worries.

He has 14 goals in 29 games this year. You never once bring up anything about Kessel's play this year.

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I thought the deal was terrible at first. but Burke is proving me wrong.

What are the odds that either of those picks turn out to be 40+ goal scorers?

In other news the Bruins are looking to trade for a top 6 scorer...

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call me crazy, but maybe Burke trading away his first round picks for bonafide stars is about the smartest thing he could do... i know the leafs will probly pick a little higher than his tenure with the nucks, but Nathan Smith and RJ Umberger didnt exactly pan out...not to mention Chris Pronger Bryan Allen

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I think the kessel signing is a joke because he played for a hell of a stacked Bruins team . I think hes over rated. However, I will also point out that your whole article is biased, used in hindsight and smack of an unearned disqusting arrogance.

As you also so kindly slipped in a plug for that pathetic turd Burke has on a leash - Dave Nonis - , then I will also note he drafted Patrick White while the clown that keeps him as his pet - drafted the Sedins and Ryan Kesler.

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Pretty poorly constructed story. Someone commented that you have included nothing about the season Kessel is having. All you've done to try and prove a point is make an assumption (Toronto will finish in the bottom five overall) and go back on previous draft years where bona fide superstars have been drafted. What you should have done is mention the players that will potentially be available in the next couple drafts. It's pretty obvious that they were thinking that they locked up a 40 goal scorer - and it looks like they've done just that right now. Their number one problem is goal tending. Kessel is far from a problem.

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Toronto may finish in the bottom five overall. As of right now they're only five points out of a playoff spot. The East is wide open and I would not write of any team right now save the Hurricanes, despite their late charge.

The Leafs team isn't exactly all bad. They've just had an incredible amount of underachieving players on their roster. Their 9 OTLs are second-most in the East and in shootouts it could go either way. Kessel's return from injury really gave them a spark. Komisarek has had a tough season and goaltending has always been an issue. What the Leafs really lack right now is a premier set-up man for Kessel.

Whether the Kessel deal pans out or not remains to be seen. If the Bruins end up picking busts at the draft then the clear winner is Toronto. 40-goal scorers are hard to come by in this league and the Leafs got themselves one in Kessel. He's a dynamic player that can create offense all by himself. Look at the Bruins' offensive struggles this year.

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"We have to throw out 2005 because it was the post-lockout draft and was as ripe with two season's worth of talent, but the top five was: Sidney Crosby, Bobby Ryan, Jack Johnson, Benoit Pouliot and Carey Price. For the record, it would've been Johnson."

Not sure what you mean by this. There was a draft in 2004 so how was 2005 2 drafts worth of talent?

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While I agree with the overall article, it's probably still a good idea to keep all the facts correct. Alex Edler wasn't a top second round pick. Moreover, he wasn't second round pick period. He was picked 91st (third round) in 2004.

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Its not a big suprise at all that Burkie emptied the pick cupboard...we all know what he did here.

He was appeasing the Leaf Nation with a band aid fix.

To his credit...the team did need an offensive producer....but to impatiently trade away picks is not the way to run a Hockey club.

He would have been better off to deal Kaberle for a scorer and hold on to his picks.

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I didn't think this was a good deal for the Leafs, even if they locked down a 40 goal scorer. I think they got a bit hosed by the Bruins. Leafs fans generally don't have patient for a full tear down and rebuild, so they need to compete for the playoffs every season. I suppose that these picks could have eventually panned out for the Leafs, but I'm not so sure that Brian Burke's job would be safe for that long if they aren't competitive in the meantime.

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What a terribly biased article supported by no logic whatsoever. All you did was give us a bunch of hair-brained assumptions.

(BTW, Franzen and Edler were not second round picks)

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