If Leafs Want to Retool, They Just Need to Look West for Blueprint. #mycolumn:

The tear down of the Leafs and starting from scratch is being well-received by most fans. But coming with it is the talk of how it is going to take four, five, maybe more years to get it done. People point to the hard times in Chicago and Tampa Bay before they became competitive, or how Edmonton has been rebuilding forever and is still bad. 

But no one points to the best example of rebuilding – nay, retooling – of the modern era: The Calgary Flames.
Ironically, the genius retool in Calgary started when the Flames fleeced the Leafs in the Dion Phaneuf trade, and the Blues in the Bouwmeester trade, which allowed them to give Mark Giordano a more substantial role. People always talk about the pure exchange in a trade, but no one takes into consideration the way those trades can affect a team. If you need a more recent example, look no further than the Franson/Santorelli to Nashville trade – the return was okay, but how much worse it makes the Leafs is the real prize. It’s all about McDavid.
In their two high picks in recent years – neither of which were first overall by the way – they took two Ontario boys that play the game the right way. People can say that it is important to be strong at centre, but I think it is best to be strong in the most important area of the ice: compete. That is the culture that has been bred in Calgary. They don’t care that they aren’t loaded with skill. And they shouldn’t – you can’t teach hard work and that’s exactly what Bob Hartley has taught that team. That mentality is what allows goals like this to happen:

As I always say (this is basically my catchphrase): You gotta be lucky to be good and good to be lucky.

See, unlike the Leafs, the Flames play good old fashioned blue collar hockey. This team would be nothing without guys like Bollig and Engelland. Keeps everyone honest, except other team’s fighters of course because now they have players to fight. Last time the Leafs had players like that in the lineup they made the playoffs, but what do I know? I’m just a future member of the mainstream media. 

But most importantly – and if you are going to read any part of this article make it this – the Flames don’t bow to the new Nerd Lords and the Fancy Stats they peddle in their Fancy Hats. I keep reading tweets and articles about how the Flames will come down to earth because their puck possession is bad. Yeah well you know what isn’t bad unlike the Leafs? Their win possession. 
The worst part is that the Leafs were on a similar path a few years ago with Burkie the Hedgehog in charge. It’s no coincidence that the Flames have turned it around so fast with him in Calgary.
So if the Leafs want to rebuildtool quickly and efficiently, it IS possible. They just have to look west and bring back the most important Leafs mantra of the last few decades:
In Burkie We Trust.
  • I love your site but these overly sarcastic posts that beat that are beating the whole “who needs talent when you have compete” dead horse are really getting old. Its not that i dont agree with what your saying, but how about you mix in some thoughtful articles once in a while. The other writers on this site are able to provide fantastic analysis and insight while also including that tinge of sarcasm that people love about the leafs nation. I get that this is your act and everything but please stop.Its gone from clever and satirical to flat out stale.

    • The sad thing is I don’t think it is an attempt at being overly sarcastic. I believe we have ourselves a young mitten stringer in waiting. Preparing himself to take the throne from the likes of Cox and Simmons one day.

      Leafs Nation has really followed the Leafs in regards to talent and quality latley. The tank is real in Leafs nation as it is on Leafs Nation.

      It’s been a blast LeafsNation, I may poke my head in now and again, but articles like this are the reason why I turned to bloggers to get away from the Sun and Star writers that produced similar fecal matter.

        • I’ve posted 22 articles on here in the past 16 days, on top of 6 on JetsNation and 18 on my own site, and that’s on top of my real-world job. Hell I had 4 posts in like 6 hours on here yesterday.

          I’m not sure how much further I can push it without, you know, dying

  • If you guys don’t like #mycolumn then don’t read #mycolumn. It’s a weekly feature. There are a lot of other articles on this site. It’s not rocket science.

    Personally, I love #mycolumn and will continue to read #mycolumn forever and ever.

  • Jeff and Justin, I thank you for the content you produce. It’s informative and also is able to differentiate itself from msm coverage of the same story by using wit, sarcasm, and stats outside of goals and assists. Your guys’ work actually contributes something to the world of hockey writing and is truly the best way to showcase the poor quality of content msm produces. This, on the other hand, has no residual value or thought behind it outside of “Ha, msm is dumb.” The dead horse is basically just a bloody pile of mush it’s been beaten so much by now. I understand that the people who run the site enjoy this (or else it wouldn’t be on here), but it’s lack of substance and very quickly diminishing comdeic value makes it unbearable to read more than a few of these in one lifetime.