Here is an open letter to a certain Mr. Brian Burke that I posted on a Facebook group after the debacle on Saturday night. The group is TML Die Hards. A group where Leaf fans who have something positive to say about their team meet and exchange ideas, opinions, whatever is on their minds. I know the nay-sayers are probably thinking "positive Leaf ideas? Must be a small group." Harrumph, I say to you haters. Bandwagoners, don't bother trying to re-board. This Leafwagon is off-limits to you.
When I posted the letter, I, of course, had no idea what the next 24 hours would bring. Since my letter was obviously the fuel that drove the engine to get the trades done, I will be waiting for my referral cheque, Mr. Burke.
Here then, is the letter that made Mr. Burke do the deed.
Dear Mr. Burke:
I have been a Toronto Maple Leaf fan since I was 5 years old. I am now 52. For 47 years I have lived and died (mostly died) with the Leafs. I have watched players be run out of town, (Mahovlich, Walton, McDonald, Sittler, Murphy) I have watched high draft picks not reach anywhere near their potential (Ernie Moser, Jack Valiquette, Grant Marshall, Luca Cerada), countless times I have seen our first round picks traded away for some quick fix players like Owen Nolan, Tom Kurvers and have watched young talent be traded away for some fruitless playoff run.
I beseech you to build this team with young talent. I understand the Kessel trade, after all, he's only 22, but please, do like the others before you wouldn't do and get rid of the deadwood here. Get rid of the players like Mayers, Exelby (hell, they want out of here anyway). Move the likes of older players like Kaberle, Hagman. Trade away the underachievers like Ponikarovski, Toskala and Blake. If we are going to suck for a couple of years more, let's at least be exciting to watch. Reward the players for good play. Discipline them for bonehead mistakes. Make Toronto the place it once was. A place that free-agents wanted to play.
You have a fan base that is dying for a good product. You have, without a doubt, the most loyal fan base in all of sports. More loyal than Yankee fans, more loyal than Cowboy fans, even more loyal than Man U fans. And definitely more loyal than Hab fans. Reward those fans for their lifetime affection towards your hockey club.
Bring in the best coaching and scouting that money can buy. Show the fans that being a Leaf fan is once again a positive thing.
Mr. Burke, you could own this city just by developing a winner. You could be God-like if you ever developed a Stanley Cup Champ here. Just think how this city, your city, would react to a Maple Leaf Stanley Cup Championship. Just think. Then just do it.
So you get the idea.
GO LEAFS GO!