Toronto Maple Leafs: Did Brian Burke Fail Toronto During Free Agency?

July 2nd, 2011 by Chris Sadek Leave a reply »
The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently the only team in the NHL's Eastern Conference not to sign an unrestricted free agent.

Like many Leafs fans, I spent much of the early part of July 1 feverishly checking to see if Toronto had signed anyone, then spent much of the latter part of the day angrily cursing about the lack of activity in Leaf Land.

Thankfully, sleep has provided some clarity.

While many want to criticize the Brian Burke for being in Afghanistan to support Canadian troops on July 1, they should be applauding him.

Anyone who thinks that the Leafs missed out on any free agents because Brian Burke was overseas is a fool.

As one member of Toronto's management team joked, phone reception in Kandahar is likely better than in many areas of Toronto. Seriously, Leafs fans should have no doubt that Burke knew exactly how free agency was transpiring. Moreover, Toronto has several former NHL GMs on staff (including Dave Nonis, Rick Dudley, and Cliff Fletcher) capable of handling UFA offers.

Let's start with Brad Richards. The Leafs never had a chance at signing him. 

After hearing that Richards ...

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