There hasn’t been much of a buzz around the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey organization since before the lockout (2004/05).
What little hum there was surrounding the team was one of frustration and anger directed mostly towards the past.
Blame was placed as far back as the Ballard era for the state of affairs that one of the NHL’s original six teams had fallen into, with seemingly no end in sight.
Enter Brian Burke.
His changes within the organization including coaches, staff and player personnel of both the big club and the AHL affiliate Marlies has begun to take shape.
Perhaps slower than most in Leafs Nation would like and some will always argue that some of the pieces don’t fit and granted there is still some tweaking to be done.
But there is no doubt in my mind that this team while orchestrated by Burke is moving in the right direction.
With all the youth on the one of youngest teams in the NHL, which will continue getting younger with the influx of talent on the horizon there will be a few bumps along the road.
But you have to ask yourself…would I rather suffer with youth or old has been players and a bleak future?
The answer for 99.9 percent of us will obviously choose the youth.
Fans of the blue and white are on the edge of their seats throughout Leafs Nation as the buds are giving us some of the most meaningful hockey since Mats Sundin wore the "C".
As for the playoffs, we are still on the outside looking in and the chance that this year’s team will see postseason action is slim, but it’s there, along with the excitement of again playing meaningful games in March.
I became a fan of the Leafs because of the Darryl Sittlers and Borje Salmings, I had Cup dreams with the Doug Gilmours and Dave Andreychuks and I have certainly suffered through some very harsh years.
But I will bleed blue and white with no remorse as I watch Luke Schenn, Keith Aulie, Phil Kessel, James Reimer and the rest. While knowing that Nazem Kadri, Joe Colbourn, Greg McKegg and Jake Gardiner wait chomping at the bit for their chances to shine.
Even if we don’t make the playoffs this season I haven’t ever been as exited about the bright future of my blue and white that represents the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The faded dream of Lord Stanley’s Cup being raised in the streets of Toronto has now begun to become a real possible reality in the not so distant future!
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