I feel bad for Phil Kessel and Phaneuf. It wasn't their idea to rebuild the Toronto Maple Leafs around them.
That's on Burkie.
Burkie, as an old-boy hockey insider, has long since decamped to greener pastures. The fact that his record absolutely stinks makes no diff when you are an old-boy insider.
I'm watching (not for much longer) my Leafs taking a 5-0 beating at the hands of the Blues. The absolute highlight of the game thus far has been Phaneuf's pasting of Oshie. If Phaneuf had delivered a few more checks like that earlier in his career as a Maple Leaf, he could have vindicated Burkes decision to sign him up.
But by and large Phaneuf avoids the nitty gritty.
Which is why he was never a guy you should have been building a team around.
We are now watching a team that truly sucks. The announcement that they are officially "rebuilding" was management's way of telling the fans that it's official strategy that they suck. There is a school of thought that maintains the suckage is about nabbing McDavid in the draft, but I wouldn't give Leaf management that much credit.
The Leafs suck because they're run by hockey morons, not because they're run by evil geniuses with an eye on Connor McDavid.
It's been a while since I've been to the Air Canada Centre to see the Leafs live. Between tickets and parking and the drive to the big city and a dinner out, this is a $500 night.
Won't be happening any time soon.