Peddie's cheapness caused some of Burke's mess

You can trace the origins of the sad demise of the Maple Leafs back to a single decision that then-CEO Richard Peddie made on Aug. 23, 2003.

A decision that, more than anything else, has been responsible for the lack of playoff games in Toronto since the season lost to lockout. A decision that cost Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., the company Peddie is so often credited with building, somewhere between $60- and $100-million in lost playoff revenue alone.

Peddie went on the cheap and hired John Ferguson Jr. as general manager and he got even less than he paid for. The baton was passed from the fired Ferguson to the caretaker Cliff Fletcher, to an impatient and overpaid Brian Burke. Peddie paid too little for Ferguson, too much for Burke, who has spent the past three-plus seasons ridding himself of those who used to play here.

Burke has failed just as Ferguson, for completely different reasons, in completely different ways, failed. But if you go back to the beginning, so much of Burke’s early work was undoing the mess Ferguson had made.

That’s not giving him a free pass in any way. He has made his share of errors. But when you look back, big picture, the single determination made by Peddie in 2003 remains significant almost a decade after the disastrous decision.


Should Brian Burke be fired? No. Should he be forced to explain where he is and where he is going to the new ownership of the Maple Leafs, absolutely. And if they don’t like the answers, then they can act accordingly … Funny, when the Bell and Rogers people had that gushing press conference to announce their partnership of the Leafs, Raptors et al, I remember them talking championships.

140 Responses to Peddie's cheapness caused some of Burke's mess

  1. reinjosh says:

    I just don't agree he's more NHL ready. He still doesn't appear to know how to use his size effectively, and still struggles to play an offensive game (which is why we acquired him). He has NHL size and could play an NHL game, but I just don't think its the right time to have him come up yet. 

    I like Colborne, I really do, regardless of what my arguments with LN91 say. I just don't think he's ready to transfer to the NHL yet. I don't want him to come up and play on the 3rd line, because I think he needs to learn how to develop consistency in his offensive game. He clearly isn't ready to play top 6 minutes yet, and while he could play 3rd line, I'd rather see him get top line AHL minutes, developing his offensive consistency.
    I don't want to limit him or place him in a spot he isn't ready for yet. I honestly think Kadri is more NHL ready at this point. His defensive game is clearly worse but he's not being developed as a two-way player. 
    I don't really want to see either come up and play 3rd line time. Kadri needs to have a spot opened up for him on the second line for him to succeed. 
    I just don't think Colborne's game in the AHL has justified having him up on the team. He has 8 points in 2012. In 26 games. In his last 21 he has 4 points. And he hasn't really been great defensively either. He's -6 in those 21 games, and his shot totals have dropped from 3 a game in his most successful month to hovering between 1.5 to 2. He's not doing enough consistently. He has not earned playing in the NHL yet in my opinion. 
    Kadri meanwhile has been only a minus player for three games in 2012, shooting much more consistently, and still contributing offensively. 
    I think Colborne has a lot of potential. I just don't think he's developed to a point where he's earned being in the NHL. Kadri has in my opinion. 
  2. JoelLeafs says:

    Yeah, i don't think most recognize what a luxury it is to have a 2nd line center like grabo. A bit small but tough, fast, a *****ing determined. He scores, he passes, he distracts, he takes hits… he does pretty much everything you could ask of a forward his size in the offensive zone, and he's not much of a liability in his own end (not that he plays there much).

  3. JoelLeafs says:

    Yeah, TSN has a nice video breakdown of his goal this year. By their estimate a lot of his work has been dirty goals, pure snipes, and his classic one-timer from the left circle. Only something like 12 of his goals came from really talented passes (mostly from that midget they put on skates). Tampa just got screwed by Yzerman letting (as Dutchie once put it) one of the guys that helped invent hockey play net. I guess they also lacked depth in their forward corps too, but whatever.

  4. reinjosh says:

    There defense is crap too. Yzerman needs to fix both the defense and goaltending desperately. Forward depth would help but they have a pretty top heavy top 6 that should hide the bottom six inconsistencies. 

  5. 93killer93 says:

    On TSN Dreger said Iginla could be moved this summer.  What would it take to get him? Anyone think one of the teams with a top 10 pick might go after him? 

  6. reinjosh says:

    I don't think so. Most of the teams in the top ten's biggest need is a dman. The others biggest need is a center. 

    Winnipeg maybe. He could give them a huge boost. But is a Iggy for a year worth it?
    My random prediction? Washington. Two first round picks aren't going to help them really. They need a shakeup of sorts. Dropping Semin and using the cap space to go after Iggy would be a shakeup. Iggy could be a huge boost to the team. So use those two first rounders and something like Eakin.
  7. 93killer93 says:

    I really think Calgary should target Dumba.  I doubt it happens but I'd love to see them trade with Carolina for Brandon, Brett and Brody Sutter, and then draft Lukas this year.  

  8. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I agree…Despite their struggles, I do believe Washington is one of the better run teams in the league. Varlamov for a 1st and 2nd from a non-playoff team was genious.

    I think their biggest issues is they don't have a very good second-line Center. I'm saying this based off the fact that Fleischmann was that guy, since he was traded, they have not looked that great. They acquired Jason Arnott last deadline, and that's when they turned it around.

    Kuzentsov would be that dynamic option. However, he sadly might stay in the K (horrible career move) so that screw them.

    Drafting a near-NHL ready player that could fill that role (Faksa or Grigensons) could go a long-way for them as well.

  9. reinjosh says:

    I'm not sure they have a shot at him. I think they will target Reinhart with their pick, to try and get the Reinhart brothers together. Maybe even grab the youngest one if they are bad enough in 2014. 

    Dumba would be cool but I think he's going to NYI. 
  10. reinjosh says:

    Girgensons is a long ways-a-way I think. He's going NCAA next year so he's at least a year away. Faksa could make sense but he might not be there when they pick. But yeah your right. That is their biggest need. I just thought maybe McPhee might make a panic move. 

  11. 93killer93 says:

    Either we're really lucky or we're being set up for a huge disappointment. The Isles, Wild and Hurricanes win. If Anaheim can come back against the Oilers tonight we're back at 26th.  

    The Wild play at home with Phoenix
    Anaheim play in Calgary
    and the Islanders play in Columbus. 
    Losing to Montreal is a must. 
  12. TheOnlyIslesFan says:

    Watch what you say that's a swear word in my household.

  13. frankinboltonleafs says:

    Well the ducks won…the habs position won't change regardless what happens Sat night so they have every reason to stomp us at home. Fingers crossed. (hey maybe we could call Finger up?)

  14. 93killer93 says:

    Maybe we can sign Aki Berg. He probably wouldn't make it through waivers though.  

    If the Leafs lose in regulation we have a shot at the 4th pick. The way Tavares has been playing I think the Isles can beat Columbus. 
  15. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Let's be realistic, they are playing for pride and will most likely win because they are epic failures.

    …And some people would be happen with that win.

  16. thisgamewelose says:

    ..or they just don't believe teams should lose on purpose.

  17. mojo19 says:

    excluding the lottery…

    The Leafs can pick as high as 4th with a L to mtl and an Islanders W.
    A Leafs Win can put them as high as 7th pick. We can't catch TB because they have more R/OT wins. We can't catch Carolina even if we win and they lose, despite having equal pts, R/OT wins, and having tied the season series, they have a much better goal deferential. 
  18. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I'm pretty sure Anaheim would pick above them due to the number of wins each team has.

  19. Vicks_Prick_Leafs says:

    i'm sure the Leafs win the draft lottery in tiebreakers with TB, Car, Ana.
    so we can't get more then them.
    what i'm hoping for…
    Tor loss
    NYI win

    if we aren't in position to draft one of the big 4 forwards, Burke has to trade assets to get into position. and i don't like giving up anything, especially if it is within reach.
    i have saturday 7th circled on my calender, then following that the 10th.

  20. reinjosh says:

    THey have the tiebreaker right now on so I'm assuming they would if they are still tied. I think it goes by goal differential so as long as we don't blow that we should be fine. 

  21. JoelLeafs says:

    What an odd sentiment. 

  22. mojo19 says:

    Nope. Equal wins (you have to exclude SO wins)… There is no valid head-to-head so it goes to goal deferential which Toronto's was worse.

    We pick at 5, Anaheim at 6.
  23. mojo19 says:

    Kadri is obviously more talented than Colborne. That was never in question. I think Kadri just needs to fill out a bit more and he's an NHL regular.

  24. mojo19 says:

    Miikka Kiprusoff being potentially available would be a huge addition to any team. I think this guy is a top 5 goalie in hockey. Top 10 for sure.

  25. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Theres no point to go the trade route since it will cust half the team to get a goalie.

  26. mojo19 says:

    There is a point to go the trade route if you can't lure one of the few UFA's available. To me the list begins and ends with Vokoun and Harding. After those two, you're rolling the dice on a veteran back up like Biron or Hedberg who could maybe be starters or 1A types. But outside of that it really drops off.

    Trade might be the only option. Or else go with Reimer and Scrivens and maybe try to bottom out again for another high pick. Hey the fans won't like it but at least we will be exercising a proper rebuild for once.
  27. TheLeafNation91 says:

    Yeah, would rather suck..The price for some of those guys will be atleast a first rounder. If not more.

  28. mojo19 says:

    Oh ya. The price on a guy like Backstrom, Thomas, or Kipper would be a prospect and a 1st, maybe a roster player involved too. That's if any of these guys are even available. But I think Thomas will be moved this year. He was in rumours a couple years ago (after having won the Vezina) they tried Rask as a starter, he actually played more games than Thomas that year. Now Thomas is on a bit of a decline finally and with a year left in his deal he'll move. 

    Not that I wanna roll the dice with Burke going into the ring with Chia again. haha.
  29. mojo19 says:

    Anyone else think that Boston VS Washington could be a war?

    I really like Washington and San Jose's chances as Dark Horses. They are perennial favourites with tons of expectations, now they get to come in under the radar in a different role without the same pressure. Could be a good scenario for either or both of these teams.
  30. mojo19 says:

    Also, on that note, 7 mins left in the Sharks/Kings game. Winner of the game faces St.Louis, loser gets Vancouver.

    If I'm Vancouver I want the Kings not Sharks.
  31. mojo19 says:

    The Leafs Odds:

    8.1% chance @ drafting 1st
    74.7% chance @ drafting 5th
    17.2% chance @ drafting 6th
  32. 93killer93 says:

    I don't think I'll be able to contain my excitement if the Leafs win the draft lottery. 

  33. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I just want to remain neutral…lol

  34. Boston_Bruins says:

    I'm absolutely pissed about this match up. Bruins over the Sens is such a sure thing and they tanked their way out of facing us. It went from the best to the worst match up for Boston.

    The only team in the East I don't want the Bruins to face more than Washington is Pittsburgh. The Bruins just straight up don't play well against them. I still think the Bruins have the upper hand, especially with the goaltending comparison, but I think this one could be going the distance. Bruins in 6 or 7, I think.
  35. MystifoLeafs says:

    I am with you Nation. 

  36. MystifoLeafs says:

    Talked to Minny fans and the asking price for Backstrom seemed to be a low first round or a high second I.E a pick from 20's to mid 30's and a prospect. I was thinking if we really wanted to try and trade up our second to say the 28th spot and package it with Jesse Blacker for Backstrom. Might need to send some salary Minnies way as well though. 

  37. mojo19 says:

    I wouldn't mind staying where we are because it would most likely lead to Galchenyuk or Forsberg. The more I read, these are the guys I really want.

    But if we do win the lottery and make the consensus 1st overall pick in Yakupov I won't' complain. The draft is all a gamble anyway's so any of these guys is a welcome addition to a team without much high end talent.
    Thank God we didn't win yesterday and propel our pick to 7th
  38. mojo19 says:

    Ya Bruins are still favourites but the last couple days of the season really didn't work out.

    I was all geared up to grab Bruins in my playoff pool because i thought they'd get Ottawa and spank them. Now I'm gonna have to jump on the NYR train or something, but i know a couple Rags fans are in my pool so might be in tough for good players…. This really didn't work out for anyone did it? Haha
  39. mojo19 says:

    I'd hate to give up Blacker but you have to give something to get something. And Backstrom is one of a handful of consistent goalies, year in year out. Would love to have him between the pipes.

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