Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pension Plan Puppets educates CLS about the Maple Leafs' upcoming draft

Burke: "Dammit, Nonis, Horton's is that way ..."

Toronto Maple Leafs fans have dealt with many indignities. How would you feel if you had to linger on a Green Bay Packers-level waiting list just to watch a team who hasn't won a Cup in ages while teams in Tampa Bay and Carolina skated with the silver chalice?

Despite the heartbreak, there are some great Toronto blogs and one of the biggest is Pension Plan Puppets. It'd be enough if PPP was funny (they are) but it's much more. The blog's also informative (hell - educational, even: the mere name of the blog is a lesson about Canadian politics). Don't forget the alliterative title. Just a big barrel of greatness.

Many thanks to the triple-P gang for contributing. Make sure to follow them for your Leafs needs (and wants).

1. Brian Burke is, for our money, the greatest GM to ever happen to hockey blogging. Should we expect any brazen, whacky moves from Burkie during the draft? How strong are the chances that he might deal the pick ... say, for the Sedins or Giguere?

Definitely. He's never met a microphone he doesn't like. I saw a self-professed prospects guy suggest that Burke might actually trade down in the draft. That is about as crazy as I could see it getting and it would have been pretty crazy. Actually, if I get a chance to talk to him and ask him about the "Brian Burke" twitter he might throttle me so I guess that might be pretty whacky.

2. If Burkie stays put with the pick, who would you expect him to draft? One Mock Draft I read has Burke taking some Swede with an impossible last name, but it's hardly a secret that he's developed quite the affection for knuckle dragging North American behemoths. Who would you prefer him to take?

Magnus Fancy Last Name is who we ended up drafting in SBN's mock draft as well. If the Leafs stay put and Brayden Schenn and Jared Cowen are taken then I'd be thrilled with the pick. A couple of other mocks have had Schenn making it to the Leafs which would be amazing. I don't see the Leafs trading up so I'll be glad with any of those scenarios.

3. Looking back, describe some of your favorite Leafs drafting memories. What are some of the teams "biggest steals" and best moves?

Is there such a thing as a great Leafs' drafting memory or best move? I actually cannot think of a single one. I guess I'd have to go with drafting Tomas Kaberle not that anyone knew how well it would turn out when it was made. Actually, the Leafs moving up two spots last year to draft Rookie All-Star Luke Schenn was pretty great.

4. On the contrary, which picks stand out as the biggest mistakes? Feel free to relate some of the Leafs' biggest "what if" situations and jarring failures.

Where to start? There are the usual blunt objects with which Leaf fans are bludgeoned:

  • Trading away the Luongo pick (nevermind that the Leafs supposedly had a franchise goalie in Potvin at the time)
  • Trading away the shot at Lindros (thankfully that just turned into Scott Niedermayer)
  • Drafting three players from the Belleville Bulls in the first round in 1989. Needless to say they all stunk.
5. Feel free to explore the studio space. What kind of future do you see for the Leafs under Burkie? Do you fear that double B's going to bring in Ed Jovanovski, Todd Bertuzzi and coax Markus Naslund out of retirement? Do tell.

We're already used to Burke bringing in re-treads and it's been a common theme throughout his management so we're ready for his "Travis Moen is coming through that door, Francois Beauchemin is coming through that door, Sammy Pahlsson is coming through that door" speech. I envision the future that Burke has promised: a contending team with equal parts skill, truculence, pugnacity, and grit. Basically, a return to the Pat Quinn Era but with a Cup.