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article imageOp-Ed: Media wrong, Burke firing means no Leafs trade for Roberto Luongo

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 9, 2013 in Sports
Brian Burke's larger-than-life persona may have been at the root of his firing as Toronto Maple Leafs GM, but more surely was involved. But if a Roberto Luongo trade was part of the reason, the friction likely came from Burke wanting to make the deal.
In other words, media and fans have it wrong, and they are also wrong when they suggest that with Burke gone the trade is more likely. It's not. If there was a disagreement about trading for Luongo, it surely was about not giving up young prospects for the 34-year-old goalie with a contract as long as Lady Gaga's wardrobe closet.
Roberto Luongo: not worth young stars
You think Dave Nonis, now the acting GM of the Leafs, is about to give up a Nazem Kadri and a Jake Gardiner for Luongo? And that Burke saying no to that got him axed? Those are two great young hockey players with great potential. Burke is a guy who traded two first round draft picks (Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton) and a second-rounder (Jared Knight) for Phil Kessel.
That deal didn't work out and it seems more likely that to make up for it, Burke was willing to give up yet more youth to try and get his club into the playoffs for the first time in 7 years. Enter restraint, in the form of management, a management who sat in on meetings and heard Nonis make the kind of remarks that he made today when he was introduced as the interim GM:
“We need to continue building the team. It’s not starting from scratch," Nonis said at the press conference. "To gut it now will set the franchise back a long way and something we’re not interested in doing.” That sounds like someone who intends hanging on to his best young players, not to peddle them for a goalie that is likely in the beginnings of a decline.
Luongo for Bertuzzi a steal
And yeah, Nonis traded for Luongo in Vancouver but Bobby Lou was 28, in his prime. Further, all Nonis gave up was a tarnished Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen and Alex Auld, none of whom did anything for Florida and precious little for other clubs they later played on. Nonis had a chance to steal Luongo from an erratic Mike Keenan, then Panthers GM; giving up any two of Kadri, Gardiner, Matt Frattin or Tyler Bozak would make him the one being duped.
So Luongo to Florida or Luongo to Chicago, those are now your best bets.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Roberto luongo, Brian Burke, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver canucks, nazim kadri
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