As we previously reported, Leafs minority owner Lawrence M. Tanenbaum apologized to the team’s fans for what he called an “unacceptable” end to the season.
Well, Rex Murphy from CBC’s The National took exception to that gesture.
As far as Murphy is concerned, Toronto has gone far past the point where an apology is still appropriate. I’ll offer up my thoughts in a moment, but first, I’ll direct you to his scathing take on what the Leafs have become:
As harsh as he was, I have a feeling Murphy was channeling a healthy chunk of Leafs fans when he decided to assault them in front of a national audience. The Leafs haven’t been a good team for a long time and to adopt his opinion feels both satisfying and justified.
That being said, even given their prolonged playoff drought and decades of Cup-less play, Leafs fans should attempt to separate their frustration with the franchise and their judgment of Leafs GM Brian Burke. Keep in mind that, when he took over, the Leafs were a barren team not only incapable of competing with the true contenders, but also not building towards a future.
The pre-Burke era Leafs were satisfied with shooting for eighth place at all costs, even if it meant selling off prospects for quick fixes that didn’t work.
When Burke took over, he had to rebuild this team from scratch — and that takes time.
His efforts have been far from flawless and some of his missteps have hurt the team. At the same time, the Leafs are a franchise that appear to be moving in the right direction, even if their late-season collapse suggests otherwise.
That’s my take anyways. What’s yours? Share ’em in the comments section.