Brian Burke Missed Out on a Great Group of Goalies (Part 1)
Since Brian Burke arrived in Toronto four years as the new President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brian Burke’s philosophy has always been build from the net out. After four seasons, along with no playoff appearances, this objective has been absolutely disappointing for Maple Leafs fans, from the fact that the Maple Leafs have finished in the bottom five in the league in goals against average.
Here is a look at four goalies Brian Burke could have signed or traded for, over the past two seasons.
Mike Smith (Dallas Stars)
Smith has previously spent time with the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning, mostly as a back-up, though given starting opportunities over that time because of injuries. But with a new 2 year $4 million deal with the Phoenix Coyotes last summer, Smith has relished his new role by winning 38 of his 67 games started (good for 4th in the league), on the way to a playoff appearance. Smith GAA (2.21) was 4th overall in the league, while his SV% (.930) was tied for 3rd.
Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators)
The Ottawa Senators got Anderson from the Colorado Avalanche in-exchange for Brian Elliot on February 11th, 2011. A month later Ottawa signed their goalie to a four-year contract extension. Then coming into the 2011/12, there were no expectations of Ottawa being playoff contenders. Anderson was a large part of the Senators success regular season, to a 7th game, 1st round defeat, by the hands of the New York Rangers.
Brian Elliot (St. Louis Blues)
Brian Elliot is a great example of being able to up his performance by just playing for the right coaching staff that fits him. Last summer Elliot signed a one year deal by the St. Louis Blues. Then won the back-up job during training camp and ended up leading the league in GAA and SV%. Along the way Elliot made an all-star appearance and signed a new two-year deal.
Ben Bishop (Ottawa Senators)
Even though this relatively older prospect has not made an impact on the NHL, but only at the AHL level. Nevertheless, Bishop could very well become a starting goalie, due to his incredible height; he is deceptively quick and even for a big guy and has the athleticism to make save any shot.
In the end I like that Brian Burke will continue to stick with James Reimer; but he needs to be a part of your goalie tandem. As one of these four goalies listed above, along with the four other goalies I will revile tomorrow, Burke should of picked one of them up and the out come of this season could of been different for the Maple Leafs.
But we’ll look on to the NHL draft and free agency.
Rant Sports Toronto Maple Leafs Feature Writer
Look for my weekly blog “NHL Fantasy Hat-Trick” on Five Hole Dive
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