After six years that more or less followed a pattern of disappointment, something just feels different about the Toronto Maple Leafs now.
Sure, the Buds made a late and ultimately futile charge toward the postseason last year, but the 2011-12 campaign smacks of honest-to-goodness progress. That’s not to say that the Maple Leafs are without their blemishes, but for the first time since the lockout, it seems like they boast a squad suitable enough to be dangerous in the playoffs.
If you ask Burke, a playoff run is pretty pointless if you don’t have a real shot to make noise.
With that in mind, GM Brian Burke’s trade objectives are likely shifting from the future to the present. In more direct terms, it means that the Maple Leafs are primed to be buyers instead of sellers.
The Maple Leafs just hope that Burke opts for a slight change in makeup rather than a bold makeover, as The Toronto Sun’s Lance Hornby reports.
“We do like the group,” Burke said. “It’s a group that cares about each other (witness Joffrey Lupul tossing aside two Islanders to help an over-matched Phil Kessel). The work ethic is excellent.”
That brings the discussion to PHT readers: do you think that the Maple Leafs are good enough to make a run with small moves or would Burke need to land a blockbuster to truly morph Toronto into contenders? Share your thoughts in the comments.