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Las Vegas

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    Being a General Manager of an NHL Hockey team is quite similar to sitting down at a high rollers table at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and having a marathon session of no-limit hold’em poker versus some of the biggest and meanest sharks in the ocean.

    With a Leafs team stuck in the bottom 5 of the league from the first day of the season, and after public proclamations of being aggressive at the draft and public and vocal assurances that he has built one of the better defensive units in the East.  Additional proclamations that it would be reasonable to expect the Leafs to compete for the playoffs this year, spending right up to the salary cap, trading away the clubs next 2 1st round picks and trading away some of the organizations mostly highly thought of prospects for practically zero return, it is safe to say at this point, that if being an NHL General Manager were a game of poker, Mr Burke is “All In” and has absolutely zero chance of winning this round.  He has been effectively cleaned out.

    There is a silver lining however, as Mr Burke is flush, sitting on a recently signed multi-year, multi-million dollar deal and has an opportunity to buy back into the game and try again.

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      There is a lot going on  around the league these days.    Rumours about Kaberle and potential deals abound, a Kessel signing is no longer imminent, Heatley is still a Senator, and the NHL remains hot over the Hossa contract.  Oh, and did I mention the league still has a bounty on the head of Jim Balsillie?

      All of these stories have been playing out for months now, and none appear headed toward a resolution prior to the start of the new season.    It is safe to assume that despite the vast quantity of reporting devoted to these stories throughout the offseason, each will continue to dominate the headlines on days where the box scores do not.

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        Well, well, well.

        In the non-surprise of the century, Jim Balsillie put in an offer on the recently-bankrupted Phoenix Coyotes before the ink had even dried on the bankruptcy papers.    With a condition, of course:  that he would have the right to move the team to Southern Ontario.

        It’s not so much the offer that is of note – it’s been rumoured for months that he was targeting the franchise – but the timing of it is quite intriguing.   Could there be some legs to those rumours of a second team in the GTA after all?

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          WARNING: PLEASE BE ADVISED THE FOLLOWING POST WILL ATTRACT LOTS OF TROLLS, LEAF HATERS AND LOADS OF “TORONTO DOESN’T DESERVE A SECOND NHL TEAM, LAS VEGAS OR WINNIPEG DOES.”  THIS POST IS DIRECTED AT DIE HARD LEAF FANS AND FANS WHO LIVE IN THE TORONTO AREA.

          CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED.

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            NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly was on HockeyCentral At Noon today, and among other topics he briefly discussed the possibility of a second NHL team coming to Toronto.

            When asked why Toronto has not been seriously considered to date as a home for another franchise, despite the enormous fan base and subsequent opportunity to succeed financially, Kelly suggested that MLSE was not the source of resistance.