Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just a rant

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.


Unknown said...

JT, great blog by the way, you have one of the more insightful canadiens analyses in the blogosphere and the bit on gainey's visit to the rock was priceless. With that said, couldn't agree more with you, about the slimy incompetence of burke and the (can-only-be) senility of cliff fletcher. However, to be at least minimally fair to fletch, if TSN was initally correct, that first round pick in 2009 was top-6 -protected and to be conditionally shifted to 2010 if the leafs got a top 6 pick. Even then, though, your venom is justified and the greater point of burke's under-handedness and the leaf brain trust's misdirection- STILL STANDS.

Miche said...

Just started reading you a couple of weeks ago and was just curious if you could fill me in on the Burke/Gainey situation. I'd never heard of it and you've piqued my curiosity over it, was it a major deal, swapping picks or something else altogether.

Always loved Gainey still think he's underrated as a GM, and always hated Burke can't think of anyone who's been more overrated as a GM.

J.T. said...

Two drafts ago, Burke was asked to keep a public diary of "behind the scenes" conversations and deals he was involved in for USA Today. That was at the time Gainey made the Rivet for Gorges/Pacioretty deal. Burke publicly revealed Gainey told Burke none of the Habs' pending free agents were available, then Bob turned around and traded Rivet to San Jose without dangling Rivet publicly first. He implied Gainey wasn't honest, and that he could have gotten more for Rivet if he'd offered him to teams other than San Jose. Gainey was understandably stung by this, not only because it implied he was being underhanded, but also because he didn't like his private conversations published without his permission. I think a lot of GMs were bothered by the whole "draft diary" thing and the number of Burke's friends in the NHL was reduced by it. The leafs can pick Burke up for next year, but I think it would be damaging to their rebuild...partly because Burke has yet to prove he can build anything from the ground up, and also because some important people just don't like him much.

J.T. said...

Thanks for the clarification on the original report of what the "conditions" were. At least Fletcher had sense enough to try an keep a bloody lottery pick! But there's no doubt the leafs will have a top-ten pick in the coming draft, and it doesn't erase his phenomenal stupidity that he's willing to make a trade involving prospects and a high pick in one of the strongest drafts in years when he's supposed to be rebuilding. Or the self-interest of Burke who's looking ahead to his next position.