It always appeared to be one of Brian Burke’s core tenets, right up there with his love of fights, obscure words and American-born players.
The Toronto Maple Leafs general manager, almost from Day 1, made clear he wanted a team with skilled forwards filling its top two lines and gritty, checking types on the bottom two.
"To play the way we’re going to play," Burke had said at the 2009 draft, "you need pick and shovel men."
Fast forward a little more than two years, and the Leafs are test driving a third line featuring Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak and Colby Armstrong – only one of whom fits the checker description – in training camp.
The philosophy appears to have changed, at least slightly, and it’s with an eye on finally getting more offence from deeper in the lineup.
Finally, Burke is starting to understand. More links after the jump.
He would have won in a landslide.
MLHS has a spot in the seats during scrimmages.
Yet again the Leafs go into camp with high hopes for an unproved 23 year old.
Mike from VLM discusses this using Phil Kessel as an example.