On the tenth day of Leafsmas
Burkie gave to me...
Ten Players Swapping
Down Goes Brown returns for another Christmas wish:
The Maple Leafs of the early 90s inherited by Cliff Fletcher may well have been every bit as hopeless as today's version. Well on their way to a third campaign without the playoffs in the past four (in an era where only five teams missed the postseason every year), there was little reason for optimism.
But then Fletcher pulled off a New Year's miracle. On January 2, 1992, Fletcher made the largest trade in NHL history, a ten-play swap with the Flames that brought Doug Gilmour to Toronto. The sheer size of the deal was unheard of, but it worked. That one trade, alone with the hiring of Pat Burns a few months later, turned the Maple Leafs into quasi-Stanley Cup contenders.
Can Brian Burke do the same? Probably not, although he gave it his best shot last year. But it's worth remember that sometimes, one trade might be all it takes. It just has to be a big one.