ANAHEIM -- "Crappy."
That's how Bob Murray describes how the Anaheim Ducks played during the first few months of the Brian Burke era in southern California.
It was the 2005-06 season and the Ducks came out of the gates limping, much in the same manner that the Maple Leafs have kicked off the 2009-10 campaign.
"No one really remembers how much we struggled," said Murray, who took over from Burke as Ducks GM last season. "We really had a tough time coming out of the gate.
"People forget about that. They forget success didn't come overnight in Anaheim. Come Christmas, we were doing pretty crappy."
So, what changed?
"Brian stayed the course," Murray said. "We got lucky on a couple of trades, and the rest worked itself out."
It sure did, One season later, Burke, Murray and the rest of the Ducks were hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Murray knows the way Burke operates. He knows his former boss is a patient man. And he knows the Maple Leafs GM will not have any knee-jerk reactions no matter how slow a start the blue-and-white may have.
WILL NOT WAIVER
"Brian will stick to the plan," Murray said. "He's not going to flutter from that. He knows his goals and he'll do what it takes to follow through on them."
Burke, defenceman Francois Beauchemin and goalie Francois Allaire were honoured with a video tribute on the Honda Center scoreboard during the first period of last night's Leafs-Ducks game for their contributions to the Ducks 2007 Cup run and received a warm ovation.