Yesterday afternoon, Brian Burke scored with a buzzer beater to trade John Mitchell to the New York Rangers for a seventh-round draft pick. After what was a relatively quiet deadline day, expensive champagne was uncorked, fine bottles of single-malt whiskey were shared, and later, several Colt 45's were slammed down, as the executives of Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment Limited celebrated the lifting of a plague.
In a moment of levity, Brian Burke, the proud, new owner of dazzling, ruby-encrusted (if ill-fitting) ruby high-heels joked to reporters of The Globe and Mail:
"He played some good hockey here and I want to thank him for that and wish him well,"
What a joker.
Seriously though, we all know John F. Mitchell was no longer a part of the problem with this organization, but I'd still like to applaud Burke's handling of yesterday's trade deadline. There was no mortgaging of the future, no lowering of the bar to send off anyone who can still help this team now, and if one person had to go, John Mitchell was a swell choice, since he's now no longer cluttering up the AHL ranks needed to give ice time to the likes of Joe Colborne.
More links after the jump.
Brian Burke Deadline Day Press Conference
Jonas Siegel at AM640 has the audio.
Deadline Passes, Rangers Acquire John Mitchell from Leafs - Blueshirt Banter
Rangers fans don't seem to grasp the full weight of this action.
Kessel named NHL’s first star
This may have been overlooked by some in the stampede of news from Twitter, but Kessel's exceptional recent play sure turned a head or two among NHL staff.
Are the Leafs good enough?
Michael Langlois takes a look at a few of Burke's recent trades, and wonders whether the team is set to succeed in the coming years.
Trade Deadline Pandemonium
Jeff Veillette posted his thoughts throughout the unfolding deadline day.
Consolidated Stats For Leaf Top Prospects
Curt over at Blue Chip Prospects is taking inventory of our prospects' production at all levels.
Toronto Maple Leafs Legends: Les Kozak
Joe Pelletier looks back on an unlikely career path that went from the Seminary to the NHL.
Other Hockey Links:
What does it Take to be a Goon? - Behind The Net
Gabe Desjardins points out that most NHL teams say 'size'.
Monday's Three Stars
The latest from Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy.
Puck Daddy's 2011 NHL Trade Deadline Report Card
Burke gets an A-. I'd have to say I agree.
Although this just a bit of ruminating about an Oilers trade by Tyler Dellow, it raises an interesting question about when teams trade for prospects: How much does a GM really know about them, and how much is he relying on his scouts?