Problems remain with Burke's Leafs

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

Brian Burke has been besieged by free advice on how to turn around the Maple Leafs.

One suggestion: Scrap a few veterans and go with a true youth movement, recruiting heavily from the Marlies.

One problem: The Marlies haven’t been lighting up the AHL, so aren’t likely to assist a team lacking in top-six forwards.

The farm team has scored a total of just three goals in its past four games, all of them losses. Overall, the Marlies are averaging only 2.4 goals a game.

Another problem: Changing course and bringing in a batch of rookies might have been a swell idea before the Phil Kessel trade — when they still had a first-round draft pick. But, say it results in the Boston Bruins ending up with the first pick overall ... hmm, d’ya think Burke embarrasses easily?

Jays frenzy

A note to Blue Jays ticket holders: False alarm. Climb off the ledge.

Your renewal fees likely are not going up 56% — or 57%, depending on where you read it.

In fact, for more than 99% of subscribers, the cost will be the same as last season.

“We had a difficult season, so essentially we have a price freeze on season tickets,” Jason Diplock, Blue Jays vice-president of ticket sales, said.

What the Jays have done is reconfigure their seating plan, bumping a few sections into a higher pay grid.

That move affected all of 16 subscribers. Most of them have been relocated to other sections at their old price.

A few remain angry, and the Jays are working to appease them.

Diplock said pricing hasn’t been finalized for individual-game tickets. That will be announced in the new year.

As for those looking for a price reduction, hey, the Jays got rid of J.P. Ricciardi, what else do you want?

Leafs in bad shape

Fitness guru Gary Roberts suggested on AM640 Toronto yesterday that the team’s off-season training program focused too much on aerobic work.

“Hockey is not an aerobic sport, it’s an anaerobic sport; it’s about being strong and powerful and fast and you don’t get that by riding the stationary bike,” Roberts said.

Luke Schenn looks like he has been on a stationary bike all summer. His feet look slow. That’s what happens when you ride the bike too much, your feet get slow.

“In my opinion, the Leafs look slower.”

In contrast, Roberts put together an off-season fitness regime for Steve Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“We made that guy do sled pulls and heavy lifting and a bunch of jumping,” Roberts said. “In the end he did speed and power work all summer.”

Stamkos, entering last night, led the Bolts in goals (13) and points (21).

Could it be the Maple Leafs have been conditioned to lose?

gary.loewen@sunmedia.ca


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