Greg Gilbert and his coaching staff were handed pink slips today by Brian Burke. For those not familiar with the Marlies coaching staff (really, why would you?), Gilbert took over for Maurice when the latter was promoted to the Leafs a few years ago.
"The Marlies went 39-29-5-7 in the regular season, Gilbert's third with the team. They went on to lose in six games to the Manitoba Moose in the North Division semifinal."
Frankly, he did a pretty good job taking the team to the conference finals the year before, but seems Burke and co. have other ideas for the team. Brian Murray once he gets fired?
I was looking through the Leafs salary commitments earlier today (as one does in June), and noticed that as of today the Leafs (not including 2-way contracts), only have 5 players signed for 10/11. They are: Jason Blake, Niklas Hagman, Luke Schenn, Thomas Kaberle and Jeff Finger. Their combined salary amounts to 17M in cap hit.
Some UFA eligible players going into their final year of contract: Kubina, Toskala, Ponikorovsky, Mayers and Stempniak. One wonders if any of these five will be Leafs by December. A lot is going to happen. That you can bet on.
Burke's greatest asset right now could also be his demise. He has a fairly clean slate roster-wise, a chance to build the team the way he wants and over the next calendar year or so get the players he wants. It also means it's his neck alone on the chopping block if it doesn't work. One gets the feeling he's perfectly OK with that.
Have a good weekend.