Burke’s Vision Begins To Evolve: Grading the Leafs Offseason Thus Far

July 8th, 2010 by Brad LeClair Leave a reply »

Brian Burke’s philosophy for building teams has always been predicated on building from the goalie out. He won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks with a team built with a Conn Smythe Trophy winning goalie and two Hall of Fame defenders. Not to mention a skilled top six which included the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne.

This philosophy is quite apparent when taking a look at the Leafs roster.

Granted at the moment, the Leafs really don’t have a legitimate top six group of forwards, the potential is there for them to develop into those players. Players like Nazem Kadri, Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak, Nikolai Kulemin, and the recently added Kris Versteeg seem to already have top six roles with the Leafs next year, if all goes according to plan with Kadri making the big club. They all have the potential to fill these roles in the coming seasons.

The Leafs right now boast 5 legitimate goalies that could play in the NHL either today or a couple of years from now. The Leafs feature a goalie tandem of Jean Sebastian Giguere, whose seven milllion dollar contract comes off the books at the end of the year and Jo ...

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