December 27, 2010
Leafs GM won't pull trigger on trades
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - General manager Brian Burke spent the Christmas holiday in the Boston area with family, but did not anticipate jumping into the trade market when the National Hockey League roster freeze ended at midnight Monday.
Burke had imposed his own personal embargo on Dec. 9, and though the Leafs have played some bad hockey since then, it is clear he’s not getting much co-operation from his peers or is holding out hope that the team as currently constituted will be able to pull its socks up in time for a playoff run.
There are few internal changes the team can make, other than putting energy winger Mike Brown and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere back in the mix in the next week or two as they come back from finger and groin injuries respectively.
MO WINS FOR WILSON
A little irony on Tuesday for coach Ron Wilson, whose 77th win as Toronto coach on Sunday moved him ahead of Paul Maurice for 11th in club history. Maurice, who is back running the Carolina Hurricanes after being swept out of Toronto to make way for Wilson, reached his mark in just two seasons. When Wilson took the job, he said Maurice had been helpful in the transition.
Maurice’s team will be the visitors on Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre. Next up for Wilson on the Leafs’ list would be King Clancy, who is 10th with 80 victories.
JERSEY SHORE DID SNOW
Winger Colby Armstrong still couldn’t believe the conditions the roads were in Sunday in Newark, N.J. — and he comes from Saskatchewan. Only an estimated 2,500 spectators showed up at the Prudential Center to watch the Leafs play the Devils.
“I expected that (low number) on the drive to the rink when I saw what the roads were looking like, all the cars pulled over,” Armstrong said. “I’m sure some people just wanted to stay home and watch this one on TV.
“But we’re still amazed at how many Leaf fans were here. It seems everywhere we go, we get fans.
Winger Kris Versteeg didn’t blame anyone for staying put.
“Sometimes it’s a matter of risk,” he said. “It was good to see as many people come out as they did.”
The re-emergence of John Mitchell and imminent return of Brown could mean a quick end to the Brett Lebda experiment up front ... Tuomo Ruutu of the Hurricanes scored the 100th goal of his career on Sunday in Washington.