3 Worst Moves By Brian Burke As Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: 22nd overall pick Tyler Biggs by the Toronto Maple Leafs stands onstage for a photo with President & General Manager Brian Burke (L) and a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: 22nd overall pick Tyler Biggs by the Toronto Maple Leafs stands onstage for a photo with President & General Manager Brian Burke (L) and a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 2: Tyler Seguin #91 of the Dallas Stars knocks Phil Kessel #81 ofthe Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 2: Tyler Seguin #91 of the Dallas Stars knocks Phil Kessel #81 ofthe Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

#1. The Phil Kessel Trade

This trade has been talked about a million times, but when you think of Brian Burke disasters, you have to think of Phil Kessel.

Here’s the trade:

  • Toronto Maple Leafs trade 2010 First Round Pick (2nd Overall), 2010 Second Round Pick (32nd Overall) and 2011 First Round Pick (9th Overall) to Boston Bruins for Phil Kessel

When the Toronto Maple Leafs made this trade, they were acquiring a dynamic 21-year-old winger who previously scored 36 goals in his last season with Boston. Kessel followed up his 36 goal campaign with a 30-goal season in Toronto and you could see why Burke traded for him.

He was fast and had one of the best shots in the NHL. At his age, it seemed like a great acquisition because finding pure-goal scorers is very difficult.

However, when Burke made this deal he didn’t take into consideration the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs were a terrible team and even if you added three Phil Kessel’s, they probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs.

I have no idea how he sat down, looked at his roster and said, let’s mortgage the future for a great goal scorer, but nothing more than that.

The fact that he never protected the 2010 First Round Draft pick is a nightmare. The Leafs hadn’t made the playoffs in six years and weren’t looking close to doing so at the time, so Burke should have made it at least a top-three protected pick. I’m sure Boston still would have accepted that if they made it a protected pick.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Kessel, because I loved his game and demeanor, but he was just put in a terrible spot as the franchise guy. If the Toronto Maple Leafs never made that deal, they could have had Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton, who would have been perfect additions to the Leafs.

Both Seguin and Hamilton are from the Toronto area, so you know they wouldn’t have fallen under the pressure of playing in their hometown and would have been beloved Leafs for a while. Hamilton is one of the best defenseman in the NHL, while Seguin is going to score a minimum 30 goals and register 70 points-plus every season.

Next. 3 Worst Moves by Lou Lamoriello as Leafs G.M.. dark

Now that the Leafs are relevant, we can sit back and laugh at these deals, but these three Burke disasters set the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise back years.