Morning Papers Take One: Credit where credit is due

Posted by Richard Pollock in Morning Papers take,NHL Morning Papers on November 12, 2009 — 3 Comments

This morning in the Eastern Conference Morning Papers, Damien Cox of the Toronto Star had an interesting piece about Leafs scout Mike Palmateer and his suggestion that the Leafs should pursue Jonas Gustavsson last off-season:

That, however, hasn’t prevented the former Maple Leaf goaltending star from doing some effective legwork for the club as a scout. In particular, according to GM Brian Burke it is Palmateer who deserves most of the credit for turning the Leafs on to Jonas (The Monster) Gustavsson last winter and starting a courtship that ultimately resulted in Gustavsson signing with the Leafs as a free agent in July.

“It’s nice for (Burke) to want to share the credit,” said Palmateer, who played eight NHL seasons before injuries forced him to retire in 1984 at the age of 30.

Brian Burke has received lots of criticism for how his Leafs team has played so far this season and maybe rightfully so.  However, Burke has never been one to steer credit away from the people in his organization that deserve it.  Remember when he dealt Sergei Fedorov to Columbus and received Francois Beauchemin back in return?  He always said Bob Murray, the current Ducks GM, was the reason behind that move.  It was Murray that suggested the inclusion of Beauchemin and Burke didn’t hog the credit for that move. 

It is the same situation this time around; Burke listened to Palmateer, but also deserves credit for working his rear end off to get Gustavsson to Toronto.  The fact that he is so willing to give credit to his scout demonstrates why players and front office people enjoy working for him.  I don’t think the importance of this type of attitude can be understated. 

Burke may be having a tough time with his team’s current record, but people and players in the organization have respect for their boss and that will most definitely help in the long run.

  • Bob Roberts

    As I commented in the excellent 30 Teams in 30 Days Leaf coverage on September 30th:

    “I’ve been a hockey fan for a long, long time.
    I’ve never been a Leaf’s fan, and I’m not one now. Never been a Leaf-hater like so many seem to be, just not a fan.
    BUT…I’ll be watching with interest how they do this year, mostly because of Brian Burke.
    You can say what you want about BB: he’s loud, he’s bombastic, he’s brash, he’s outspoken. All true.
    He’s also smart – you don’t get a Harvard law degree by looking in the bottom of a cereal box.
    And he knows that in hockey, just like in any other organization from an elementary school to the biggest of corporations, it all starts at the top. That’s where the tone is set, and the bar, too. That’s where the attitude originates too, where the pride starts.
    He’s got them thinking in all the right ways.”

  • Bob,

    You were bang on.

  • Bob Roberts

    But they haven’t a hope of making the playoffs?