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The Best and Worst of Brian Burke: Trades #2

These dreamy eyes alone are worth a 2nd.
These dreamy eyes alone are worth a 2nd.

A quick recap for those of you who are archivally challenged.

Brian Burke's worst trades as Leafs GM:

#4 - Kris Versteeg to PHI for a 2011 1st and 2nd

#3 - Jiri Tlusty to CAR for the rights to Philippe Paradis

This bring us to #2.

July 1st, 2009

To Toronto: Garnet Exelby and Colin Stuart

To Atlanta: Pavel Kubina and Tim Stapleton

My kids are really into Lego. When we build a new set there is always a piece or two left -- a red 1x1 round plate and a yellow wheel rim. You can use one as a brake light and the other has some utility…these spare parts are Stuart and Stapleton. Kubina for Exelby, to stick with the Lego analogy, is like trading an overpriced and marginally fun set (Ewok Attack) for some cash and a used set of bricks that’s kinda dirty and turns out to be mostly K’Nex parts. (The cash, btw turned into Mike Komisarek, who, to stay with the kids and toys metaphors has a contract like the mother of all craft table glitter spills. No matter how hard you try, it's going to take years to clean that mess up.)

I think Forbes is a little harsh with regards to Tim Stapleton. Yesterday we had the Tlusty trade being bad for giving up on a ppg AHL player. The season before this trade, Stapleton had 79pts in 70 AHL games (granted he was 24 at the time). Last season, Stapleton added 11 goals and 16 assists in his first full NHL season with the Winnipeg Jets playing on their 3rd and 4th lines. He also cost them peanuts. So in the end it was Pavel Kubina, the player Burke Komisarek was, and a cheap, productive bottom 6 player for Garnet "Terrible at Hockey" Exelby and the capspace to sign Mike Komisarek's boat anchor of a contract. Just wonderful.

Next, something less depressing.

Brian Burke's best trades as Leafs GM:

#4 - Lebda, Slaney, and a 4th to NSH for Lombardi and Franson

#3 - A 2nd to COL for John-Michael Liles

Now #2.

To Toronto: Jake Gardiner, Joffrey Lupul, a conditional 2013 4th round pick (exercised)

To Anaheim: Francois Beauchemin

Beauchemin played tough minutes in Toronto and seemed underappreciated in a very difficult role on an awful team. He’s likely Burke’s best UFA signing (world’s tallest midget alert!). That’s a pretty good price to pay for an injury/ bad contract and a nice prospect. And let’s be frank, nobody, and I mean nobody, saw Lupul bouncing back the way he has – this trade was all about Gardiner. Like the Lombadi trade, the Leafs used their deep pockets to take on a bad contract (Lupul) and pick up a prospect in the process.

So basically when Burke's uses the Leafs economic clout for good (Lupul, Lombardi for Lebda), we like it. When he uses it for bad (overpaying for UFAs) we don't.

Your thoughts?