Brian Burke is about to make a trade. We know this because a) Burke loves a camera and b) he told us as much.
On January 12 the Toronto Maple Leafs were riding a season high four game winning streak when their general manager Brian Burke naturally decided to stand on his soapbox and announce that he was open for business.
"I'm not interested in getting our asses kicked in the first round." he said, before later in the media scrum adding, "We are looking to add and get better now."
Some general managers might look at a four game winning streak and decide it probably isn't the right time to suggest he is ready to make changes. Some general managers, particularly those in charge of teams that haven't participated in a single playoff game since they arrived, might think getting their asses kicked in the first round might not be so bad. That it might even represent progress.
Of course some GM's also occasionally smile, and some are even capable of offering a "no comment" when asked for their opinion. Brian Burke is not one of those GM's.
Burke was built for reality TV. Earlier this season he made news for revealing he offered to rent a barn and schedule a time to fight Kevin Lowe. It's amazing that HBO has waited three seasons to showcase him on 24/7.
Leading us back to the fact that Brian Burke is about to make a trade...and that scares me.
After seven long years, Leaf fans can finally see the end of the tunnel. The Toronto roster, as it currently stands, is young, quick, talented and not only does it have considerable upside for the future, it's already proving it is legitimate. The Leafs have 2/3rds of an elite first line, an excellent second line, tremendous depth on defence, and decent depth in their bottom six forwards. (As I've been saying for years, goalies don't matter.)
Even the penalty kill, after three and a half years (that felt like seven) of truly horrific play, has come around. Last night's win over Pittsburgh moved Toronto into seventh in the conference, with 6th place Ottawa entirely catchable.
All of which is say that now is not the time to make a two or three for one type of deal that removes multiple players from the NHL roster. Now is not the time to move a comfortable and productive Grabovski. Now is not the time to dangle Kulemin or first and second round draft picks. Now is not the time to play to the media, to put the team on edge, to make a trade only because you've previously indicated you were ready to make a trade.
Now is the time to let this roster breathe.
Now is the time for Burke to show his players the same patience he has shown his head coach.