Thumbs up for Burke

Sunday, January 31, 2010 ·

This post has nothing to do with the merits of the actual trades themselves, but rather the buzz Leafs GM Brian Burke created on a quiet Sunday in the dog days of an NHL season.

Remember how much you talked about the Pouliot-Latendresse trade? Nice to see it's working out for both sides, but it was a gross underachiever for a gross underachiever. The amount of coverage it garnered was as if Lafleur had been dealt for Dionne. But it's not our fault. That's what hardcore NHL fans have been reduced to. Breaking down problem for problem trades as if they're blockbusters.

Thank you Brian Burke! You actually made me remember a big part of the reason I became such a big NHL fan as a kid. Trades. Huge ones. Ones with stones. Ones that have enormous up and down sides. Ones that can actually occur during the dog days of a season and not just within 48 hours of a trade deadline or in the summer.

Big in-season deals are what we all like to talk about but don't see happen much anymore. It's to the point where when the haves and have nots of any given season start to separate, we don't even expect trades anymore. Rather, we all partake in death watches. Once the first coach is fired we move onto the next one on death row, heck we even see goalie coaches get the axe mid season these days!

Rumours of any significant trades are also prefaced with talk of how teams must get rid of a salary on waivers, or bury one in the minors. Inspiring stuff indeed. If there was a cap on coaches and managers there would be no point in paying attention at all for some fans. "It's November and my team sucks so far this year, oh well, guess I'll check back in at the deadline".

Losing an NHL season might have provided some financial stability(though some would call BS and point to Phoenix, Tampa, Florida etc..)and the rule changes signalled the end of the dead puck era, but it also ushered in the dead trade era. So once again, thank you Brian Burke for letting NHL fans have a dog day in the sun. Let's hope your idea to let teams retain some salary to facilitate in season trades finally gains some traction, because I miss the fan I used to be. Watching the waiver wire and waiting for coaches to get fired isn't exactly inspiring stuff.

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Welcome to my Healthy Scratches blog. You can hear Jason York and myself weekdays from 3-6 on Team 1200. I use this blog to expand upon some of the things we talk about on the show, and anything else that really pops into my ample head.
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