Morning Mashup: Do We Smell Optimism?

Morning Mashup: Do We Smell Optimism?

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Burkie Made This.

I love a lot of things. My family, girlfriend, friends, hockey. Life. But one of the more recent things I’ve started loving is the newly found optimism of Leafs Nation. Let’s face it, coming into next season we finally have a legitimate reason to be somewhat optimistic.

Here I’m not talking about your usual it will be better next year type of optimism, no. My kind of optimism stems from being one of the better NHL teams towards the end of this year’s regular season and making a legitimate playoff push. And let’s face it, fact is even if things don’t change, right now we’re a better team from the one that actually made that push.

It also stems from knowing that this probably isn’t a short term thing. Burke has also helped to re-stockpile the youth ranks and with prospects like Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne, Jerry D’Amigo, Greg McKegg, Tyler Biggs, Sondre Olden, Jesse Blacker, Jake Gardiner, Simon Gysbers, Stuart Percy, Ben Scrivens, Jussi Rynnas, Mark Owuya, we have something we haven’t had in a while. Perspective.

I’m almost afraid to mention the fact that the current roster is also among the youngest NHL teams because I risk sounding a little too thrilled about the future. Sure, we might not compete for the Cup next year and even if making the playoffs might seem like a must, it really isn’t. It’s expected, it’s possible and one might even call it somewhat probable if that someone sees the glass as half full. But it isn’t a must because the glass is actually 70% full. Even if next years playoff push is just a pipe dream, Brian Burke is building a team that will compete for years to come and I’m finally glad to be able to say that and be objective.

Pardon me for looking ahead and writing this semi sentimental, semi optimistic bit, but you know things are slowing down when you start wondering about who will sign Alexei Kovalev.

NHL LINKS:

Blackhawks, Stalberg agree to 2-year deal – read my last sentence one more time

Breaking down the new NHL/KHL player agreement – read this

Why the NHLPA should fight for long-term contracts

Identity of the Jets and their legacy

LEAF LINKS:

A little late but here are Mirtle’s final thoughts from the Leafs development camp

VLM wonders about all our management voices

Vintage Leafs has new photos for you to discover and save