Long time National Hockey League executive Brian Burke has never been shy about sharing his opinions about what is going on around the league and perhaps that is why he has found so much success in his new role as a broadcast analyst since leaving his last NHL job.
The former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager was recently a guest on the Spittin Chiclets podcast and as is always the case he was very open with his answers, including when it came to questions about some of his former teams. Some of the most intriguing questions came on the topic of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team that is currently feeling the squeeze as a result of the NHL's flat salary cap, and one of those questions even led to Burke openly suggesting that the Leafs must make a trade.
The question that led to Burke making this proclamation was on the topic of the contracts that were awarded to Leafs star forwards John Tavares, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Burke was asked pretty bluntly about whether or not the Leafs would be able to win with the 3 forwards each making over $10 million per season and his answer was short and sweet.
"No," said the former Leafs GM on the Spittin Chiclets podcast.
He would go even a step further however by adding Maple Leafs forward William Nylander to that conversation as well and would even go on to suggest that the Leafs must move on from Nylander in order to more effectively bring balance to their current lineup.
"It gets better, how about giving 4 guys $40 [million]?" asked Burke. "They got half their cap, it's $81.5 million, $40 million in 4 guys, so guess what the math doesn't work. They've got to trade Nylander and get a defenseman."
That of course is a lot easier said than done and no doubt it is the kind of move that the Leafs have looked at extensively in their own internal deliberations about how to improve their defense. Burke did not suggest what player the Leafs could target in such a scenario, but his tone left little doubt about the fact that he is convinced this is a move that must happen in order for the Leafs to find success in the playoffs.
Do you agree? Should the Leafs head Brian Burke's advice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.