Rink Wrap: Burke needs to land a big one

The honeymoon is over for Maple Leafs president and GM Brian Burke.

While his decision to fire Ron Wilson as coach and replace him with Randy Carlyle was viewed as a good move in NHL circles, the most important summer of Burke’s career at the helm of the Leafs certainly lies ahead.

Not making the playoffs is a major disappointment and Burke has failed to address the club’s two biggest needs: Landing a franchise forward and a top-flight goaltender. If that doesn’t change, it’ll be more of the same for the Leafs.

Since there aren’t any franchise players available on the unrestricted free-agent market, Burke is either going to have to get back in the sweepstakes for Columbus’ Rick Nash or find a way to pry Ryan Getzlaf out of Anaheim.

Once that area has been dealt with, the Leafs need a goalie. Jonas Gustavsson will likely walk as a UFA, which means the Leafs should target Canucks backup Cory Schneider, who is expected to be moved in the off-season.

The problem is, Burke isn’t going to be the only one trying to land a netminder. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will be aggressive and if Scott Howson is still GM in Columbus, then he’s going to looking for a goalie as well.