Well, this one has nothing to do with the Habs, unless it's because I share Bob Gainey's disdain for Brian Burke, after the latter disclosed Gainey's private discussions during the draft two years ago. Or possibly because I deplore the fact that Gainey and the Canadiens have to operate in the same league as Burke and poor, senile Cliff Fletcher.
The news came out yesterday that the leafs tried to acquire Bobby Ryan and Mathieu Schneider from Anaheim for a conditional first round pick in 2009 and two prospects. Are you kidding me?? Bobby Ryan, who may be good one day, but hasn't been the dominating first-round power forward the Ducks were hoping to get, and Mathieu Schneider whom Burke regretted signing at age 39 with that giant salary, and whom he was willing to dump on waivers to anyone who'd take the veteran's contract so Burke could sign Teemu? I'm assuming the "conditional" on the first round pick was based on Schneider re-signing with the leafs.
In other words, Cliff Fletcher went, of his own free will, to Brian Burke and offered him two young prospects AND the (potentially) first-overall pick in 2009...Tavares...for a borderline bust and a veteran Burke wanted to dump anyway. And Burke rejected it. Which tells me two things. First, that Fletcher is either A: senile or, B: incompetent, because WHAT GM who's allegedly rebuilding makes that trade? And, second, that Burke will be the leaf's GM this time next year. Because WHAT GM would turn down that trade, if he intends to stay with his current team?
I can't believe Fletcher was willing to trade a package like that...the most coveted first rounder since Crosby...AND two prospects of which the leafs have so very few worth talking about. Even worse, I can't believe Burke turned it down. It's so underhanded and so dirty...it's such a statement that Burke is out of Anaheim. He wouldn't allow Fletcher to further decimate the team he (Burke) hopes to take over next year. It's much easier, after all, to look like a hero if you're reviving a dead team with Tavares than without him. So Burke saved Fletcher from his own idiocy, for Burke's own unadmitted purposes.
I hate that the blatently incompetent and the underhanded operate under the same system as Gainey. It's so much harder to compete when you're trying to be within the rules and above board. But there it is. No one can say it wasn't an honest trade that just didn't go through. But, if Brian Burke isn't the GM of the leafs this time next year, I will print this and eat it.