On This Day In Toronto Maple Leafs History: January 31st

Chicago Black Hawks v Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Black Hawks v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages
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On January 31st, 2010 the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke made two blockbuster trades on the same day.

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired defenseman Dion Phaneuf from the Flames and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere from the Ducks.

After making a trade to acquire 21-year-old star Phil Kessel only a few months before, Burke was setting the foundation for his rebuilding team’s core.

Burke during his tenure with the Leafs attempted to take them to the promise land through his own brand of tough hockey.

As well, he used an aggressive rebuild/retool style. Although some players were traded straight up for picks and prospects, many were traded for players to make the team better right away. This style of rebuild was even more pronounced after he traded two firsts and a second for the aforementioned Kessel. 

That trade forced the team to no longer set their sights solely on building a team to win in the future and firmly into a “win-now” mode.

Of course over a decade later we have the benefit of hindsight, but this didn't work, and a lot of people were critical at the time.