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CBC’s Rex Murphy offers scathing response to Leafs’ apology

Apr 13, 2012, 7:15 PM EDT

As we previously reported, Leafs minority owner Lawrence M. Tanenbaum apologized to the team’s fans for what he called an “unacceptable” end to the season.

Well, Rex Murphy from CBC’s The National took exception to that gesture.

As far as Murphy is concerned, Toronto has gone far past the point where an apology is still appropriate. I’ll offer up my thoughts in a moment, but first, I’ll direct you to his scathing take on what the Leafs have become:

As harsh as he was, I have a feeling Murphy was channeling a healthy chunk of Leafs fans when he decided to assault them in front of a national audience. The Leafs haven’t been a good team for a long time and to adopt his opinion feels both satisfying and justified.

That being said, even given their prolonged playoff drought and decades of Cup-less play, Leafs fans should attempt to separate their frustration with the franchise and their judgment of Leafs GM Brian Burke. Keep in mind that, when he took over, the Leafs were a barren team not only incapable of competing with the true contenders, but also not building towards a future.

The pre-Burke era Leafs were satisfied with shooting for eighth place at all costs, even if it meant selling off prospects for quick fixes that didn’t work.

When Burke took over, he had to rebuild this team from scratch — and that takes time.

His efforts have been far from flawless and some of his missteps have hurt the team. At the same time, the Leafs are a franchise that appear to be moving in the right direction, even if their late-season collapse suggests otherwise.

That’s my take anyways. What’s yours? Share ’em in the comments section.

  1. jrod691 - Apr 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Wow, that was great. I don’t care about the Leafs one way or another but I seriously applaud Rex Murhpy. That was smack that not even Jim Rome could match. Well done.

    • revansrevenant - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      I agree, I was laughing throughout. He delivered that snark so deadpan I though I was going to die.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 13, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Few can deliver a verbal beat-down like Rex.

  3. bcisleman - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    To begin, it says something about Canada and its relationship with the sport as well as this team that one of the nation’s best known news commentators devotes a segment to commenting on that team.

    As to your comments, it is true that the Leafs needed a major rebuild. The problem is that Blowhard Burke came into town, guns-a-blazin’ and bells-a-ringin’ about how he was gonna turn on a dime without any painful rebuild.

    I still remember his obnoxious blather about he was going to huff and puff and blow Garth Snow’s doors down getting the #1 pick and Tavares without giving up much if anything in return. Not that he had ANYTHING that Garth would have wanted badly enough to trade down to #7. That didn’t stop Burke though.

    He built his reputation on wheeling and dealing. Generally his wheeling and dealing was with assets that others had accumulated. It takes patience to build a good team and Burke has none. In fact, its a lack of patience that has led to Toronto’s tale of futility. That sort of patience has been at the core of every winner since expansion. The sole exception has been the Rangers and they mortgaged the franchise’s future to win the 94 Cup. Their salvation has been a 7th round 2000 pick who they patiently developed for 5 years before he saw MSG ice.

    If the Leafs are ever to get good, their ownership, management and fanbase are just going to have to learn to hurry up and wait.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:27 PM

      I don’t know how much the fans care either way. The problem is with ownership. Steve Stavros approached each season with the goal of winning a certain number of playoff games. Tannenbaum and Co. have approached each year with the goal of raking in cash, which unfortunately the fans continue to allow them to do.

      I’d like to see Bell and Rogers totally clean out the front office from the top down. Then maybe we’ll see some serious improvement.

  4. govtminion - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    That was freaking AWESOME. Wow.

  5. paperkid96 - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Hilarious. As a Detroit Lions fan I feel their pain and watching that must help just a little bit.

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