Don’t judge Brian Burke’s Maple Leafs tenure on Phil Kessel trade

Brian Burke’s legacy as Maple Leafs general manager should not be judged solely on the Phil Kessel trade.

So says Peter Chiarelli, the man who traded Phil the Thrill to Toronto in the first place.

With his team being referred to as the “Boston Maple Leafs” because of the number of key players that are on the Bruins roster thanks to deals with the Leafs, Chiarelli said Saturday that he does not think it is fair that Burke’s body of work in Toronto be based on that one deal.

“I don’t think it is,” Chiarelli said during the Bruins morning skate at the Air Canada Centre. “When you are in this job, we all have made deals that we’d like to have back. We’ve all made deals that we’d like to have a do-over on.

“I’m not saying Brian feels that way about the (Kessel) trade. I don’t know that. I mean, they got a 35-goal scorer out of the deal.”

20 Responses to Don’t judge Brian Burke’s Maple Leafs tenure on Phil Kessel trade

  1. toronto77 says:

    Ya but Boston, got a potential 25-30 goal centremen, along with a solid shut down dman and a 20 goal scoring winger.

    Burke has to stand by the Kessel trade for the camera but in his mind if he knew that the two first’s would be a potential 2nd and 9th overall pick that would turn out to be Seguin and Hamilton, noooo way he makes that trade, Hamilton is a Burke type of d-man and would love to have him.

    Burke was expecting that the team would compete for a playoff spot and worst case if we finish in 9th in both years with the 14th overall picks boston would have selected Jaden Schwartz and Jamie Oleksiak! and let’s say Sebastian Wannstrom at 44th as oppose to Jared Knight at 32nd.

    Can all leaf fans agree that they would still trade 2 firsts and a second for Kessel if the players would be Schwartz, Oleksiak and Wannstrom instead of Seguin, Hamilton, Knight? I would.

    Also, I think goaltender interference calls should be reviewed going forward. Rask’s embellishment was pathetic last night! Carlyle wonders how Kadri hits Rasks stick and Rasks legs going flying out??? and Rask’s cowardness cost the leafs a goal and changed to momentum.


    going forward refs will use the cry wolf method and the next time Rask gets bumped, they will allow the goal.

    • Steven_Leafs0 says:

      ” if he knew that the two first’s would be a potential 2nd and 9th overall pick that would turn out to be Seguin and Hamilton, noooo way he makes that trade,”

      if you take out the word potential then Burke doesn’t make the deal. But when the chance of giving up 2 top 10 picks was just that, a chance, it was a risk worth taking. If Kessel, Beauchemin, Komisarek, etc made us a good enough team to only give up the 11th overall pick each year or better then we dominate the deal.

  2. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Seguin hurts but I look at the deal as Kessel for Seguin because you can always buy defensemen or find a good one through trade. I doubt Hamilton is going to become one of those top ten blueliners that are miles ahead of everyone else so it’s not like it’s a huge blow to Leafs. Shutdown defensemen are over rated and routinely over paid. For the same reason I don’t really miss Luke Schenn, JVR is a huge upgrade.

    The deal looks really bad whenever these teams play because Chara owns Kessel. Rask and Reimer looked like a wash to me last night. It’s time for Leafs Nation to look forward.

    • toronto77 says:

      Chara may soon be ineffective against that line. The addition of JVR is huge, even if Chara concentrates on Kessel, than that leaves JVR more time and space for him to play his game. In another way it may also draw Chara off of Kessel since JVR is so good at going to the net.

      The leafs are definitely more tougher this season, even last night against Boston.

      Interesting situation for Philly. I think they already lost the JVR trade, Schenn looks very ineffective so far and need help on defence. In 9 games they are 3-6-0, would it be wise for Holmgren to tank and try and grab Jones? This guy can definitely replace Pronger and the team can have a huge rebound next season. For Holmgren it’s either Jones or bust because there are no other d-man in this draft that even come close to him. If they don’t feel that the team is bad enough to tank to that position then they should be buyers at the deadline.

      But Calgary is destined to take the 1st overall pick, and it be curious to see who they take.

  3. lafleur10 says:


  4. coyotes_bettman says:

    For me the pill that is hard to swallow wasn’t that the Leafs traded the 2 first’s and the second for Phil it’s that had Burke made the trade that originally was supposed to happen the landscape of the thing would have been completely different anyway.

    Of course we all remember that the original deal was going to be The Pick that turned into Kadri and Kaberle for Kessel…had Burke made this deal…the Leafs would have likely landed Seguin and had the first line center to play with Kessel (and yes they would have still landed in second last place that year…Beer league goaltender Toskala anyone remember?) plus Phil was out recovering for the first month anyway…

    But the what if’s are always something to ponder…like had Burke made that trade we wouldn’t have seen the Brayden Schenn pout…we wouldn’t have gotten to see Burke “burn” Bryan Murray and most importantly we wouldn’t have had Gems like this one made possible by ottawagh0st4 on youtube!

    Point being…nobody thought the Leafs were gonna be as bad as they were that year, and definitely not the second year also have to remember that Burke DID redeem himself with every other move (and I’m not a Leafs fan) but to swindle Phaneuf out of Calgary for a bucket of bolts, to get Giguere to come to Toronto for those two awful contracts – and the highway robbery he commited with finally trading Kaberle should be the moves people remember I mean c’mon Slats traded Gretzky for next to nothing and gave Bobby Holik 10 million a season ffs.

    Burke is by far not the worst GM to ever step foot in an office in the NHL he’s not even the worst GM to ever set foot in an office in Toronto..biggest mouth yes but the worst hardly. The undoing of Burke was his mouth and his ideas of building through the draft being not a way to go…reminds me of another guy who is still on the management team in Toronto who once said “Draft Schmaft”.

  5. hockeyfan8 says:

    I have been a leaf fan for awhile and there biggest downfall has been impatience. They should have rebuilt a long time ago. Part Quinn and JFJ made terrible trades. When Burke took over he had basically nothing to work with and flipped the leafs upside down and did a good job minus the kessel deal. Toronto has to go in full rebuild mode. If kessel or phanuef don’t have plans on resigning then they need to be traded for picks and prospects. They need to build through the draft. Burke has left the leafs with a lot more assets than what they had.

  6. doorman says:

    The Kessel trade is actually funny if you think about it, I mean seriously if the worst thing you ever did as a GM is trade for a perenial 35 goal scorer, thats pretty decent.

    This team is going in the right direction, now, so everyone needs to take a deep breathe and woooosawww. Has it taken longer then we wanted? Yes. Could things have been done different? Yes. But almost all of us at some point or another have hinted at quick fixes, this trade or that trade, a UFA or offersheet here or there. That, my friends makes us part of the problem. We will get there, the team is playing harder and kids are learning and competeing. Reimer looks to be regaing form, though we still need a vetern goalie, IMO. It isn’t gonna happen this year or next but we will get there. Until then as long as they play hard I can be patient and live with the results, whatever they maybe.

  7. nordiques100 says:

    I’ve said this before, if If it were Dmitri Hamilov and Tuvo Seguinoven and not two young stars from the GTA in Dougie Hamiton and Tyler Seguin, there would be not as much negativity over the deal.

    I think that is what gets fans and the media the most. The Leafs just don’t seem to get local guys who are stars.

    I think with so many strong players coming from this area of late, like Stamkos, like Tavares, it hurts some not having one actually play in Toronto.

  8. doorman says:

    Seeing as how nords has brought up the Bruins, I gotta say I love Frasers response to MacDermid taking a run at Kessel. While he didn’t fair as well as he did in their first bout, the mere fact that there WAS an IMMEDIATE answer to said event, speaks volumes to the change in play and heart being shown. Personally, I think fraser is going to make it hard to be sent down. The reputation of how the leafs play is apparently quickly changing around the NHL

    • nordiques100 says:

      i agree, good on Fraser. I am hopeful though Dion actually will do that too. After the first game he played, he has not, and definitely not since he was captain, fought for others.

      if once, just once he responded himself to teams punishing Kessel, or Grabo, or the goalie, or Liles, I think it will go a long way. Right now he is so concerned with staying on the ice.

      I personally think he needs to be a little nastier, be a little more unpredictable. Like when Crash Davis said in Bull Durham….”I don’t know where this pitch is going”, i think that applies to Dion.

      I know people have liked his simplified game, but he really does need to be less predictable. He needs to go nutso once in a while, be it seeking deadly hits or fighting for his mates. I think that would really cement the fact this is a team or becoming more a team.

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        Exactly what I have said about Dion Nords. I agree, you have to let him loose to be effective. I’m just not sure we have the D-men to compensate. Glad to see Franson playing so well. I liked the potential, he seems like a different player this year. More confident. I’d like to see them give him PP time, he’s got a hard shot and usually keeps it down.

  9. doorman says:

    I agree i like his more responsible side, but I also realize he is a high risk high reward player. He needs to find a way to live on that edge again. Though it wouldn’t hurt to see a few of these guys grow a bit of a backbone themselves lol. I just wonder how different that room and team would be with a captain like Wendel was in his prime? Oh fountain of youth, where are you? LOL.

  10. doorman says:

    Ok, so I have a thinking forward question here fellas. If lets say we finish better then some of us expect to and we draft say 9-14, who do you take with that pick?

    • toronto77 says:

      Hands down we should take Curtis Lazar or Hunter Shinkaruk, we desperately need depth at centre. Even though both of these two may take a couple of years to develop, but we still need that depth.

      Perhaps one of these players make Colborne expendable and we can use him a package deal to acquire a real no.1 centremen. I don’t know if Colborne will be a true no.1 might as well use his trade value.

      • doorman says:

        Not sold on Lazar and not really sure why? Shinkaruk, I thought was more of a winger? I like thought potential of Gauthier at 6’5″ he is definately big and has skill. I love Fucale, but am not sold on a goalie early, but the kids a winner. My dark horse is Kerby rychel, this kid plays with a style sorely lacking on this club. He is a heart and soul player with an infectious attitude.

  11. toronto77 says:

    I am not a really keen on trading Kessel, but one player that has to go is Phaneuf!

    His time here is really done. It’s not all his fault though. Like I said Burke and Wilson put this guy on such a massive pedestal that it grew his ego out of his head and put an enormous amount of pressure that he wasn’t ready to handle.

    One question is how do you remove his captaincy? Is it going to create more drama in the dressing room by removing the captaincy from a player and giving it to another? Most captains get traded rather than demoted.

    Not only is he not fit to be a captain, I don’t even think he’s much of a leader, and above all, may not even be decent top line pairing d-man.

    The Phaneuf that the NHL saw in his early years are gone forever, it’s one thing for him to have one off bad year but we have had at least 4 years of him not regaining the presence he had back in Calgary, and it’s been so long that he may never get it back again.

    Half of the blame falls onto Wilson and Burke for throwing the pressure onto him, and the other half goes to Phaneuf for not containing the pressure and letting it get to his head, he completely forgot about the defensive side of the game and focused too much on the offensive side and was costing the team and was not a good mentor for Schenn, thus leading to his struggle as well.

    He can’t hit the net worth a damn, he has no concentration, why is shot power soooo important to him??? he took out Lupul for 6 weeks and nearly took out his replacement in JVR. He is also slow as hell, you don’t have to have Kessel speed but should be able to keep up, there aren’t too many players in this league that Phaneuf can keep up with in a foot race, and always gets out of position, an 8 year vet like him should be more responsible.

    It’s time for him to move on, he’s hurting us more than helping with his 25+ minutes of ice time.

    I say trade him at the deadline, this is a serious problem, if you want, demote him to our 3rd or 4th d-man but he’s killing us being out on the ice for that long with his decisions.

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