Burke, Burke- it’s all we hear in Toronto. The fans are only anticipating if Brian Burke is coming to Toronto? And maybe he will win the Leafs a cup during his campaign (unlikely though).
Obviously you know Burke stepped down from the GM position with the Ducks and is now a consultant and is allowed to negotiate with other teams. He was in Toronto recently for not only a sports business management conference with commissioner Gary Bettman, but attended a couple of meetings with MLSE president Richard Peddie. But, he did go away again for a funeral and must attend the funeral, however, he will be back in Toronto negotiating on a plan to stay for at least three years with a handsome salary.He could possibly get paid more than New York’s Glen Sather and New Jersey’s Lou Lamoriello-the two highest paid GMs in the NHL. And according to the Toronto Sun the deal could happen anytime this week. It is almost closed, but Toronto is also filled with Rumors. I don’t expect a signing until next week for this week he’s stuck in Boston with many of his relatives.
Burke’s wife is a Canadian and can’t get a work visa for the United States. Now, he has to think about the family and since he can get a job anywhere in the NHL (practically), why not Canada? He won’t go to Montreal because of Gainey, he won’t go to Edmonton because of Lowe (even though I think Kevin Lowe is not the smartest GM), He won’t go back to Vancouver and Calgary is not even looking around for another GM. Toronto is the only fit, especially with his fantastic public relations abilities, talking to media and focusing on the team.
It’s an obvious move for him. Expect him to make a couple big moves when he does come to Toronto, but it won’t be an instant change- maybe they will actually make it to the playoffs, Burke will make sure of that. Burke will make sure of a lot of things- first round draft picks is the first instance. If Burke wants Tavares in the upcoming draft, he will get him. There are many benefits, except, he won’t turn the Leafs into an all-star team. He will help, but also be a great face for the organization. He’s a business man with good rhetoric skills.
He is no Ken Holland, but a good substitute and one of the top 5 GMs right now. Hopefully the Leafs fans get their wish, because this is definitely a step up from their past devastating six seasons. Unfortunately, he does not have much trade bait to use. Jason Blake’s value plummeted to the bottom, Nik Antropov is NOT a top-six forward and Mikhail Grabovski couldn’t cut it on the Canadiens. Toskala, Kubina and Kaberle are the only three able to fish something out- but it’s bad to lose their two best defencemen if need be. If he’s a good as the Leafs fan believe he is (the fan’s that believe every new member in the organization is going to save them- *cough* JFJ) then he can make something out of what he has. I’ll give the leafs one thing, they are not the NY Islanders.
What are your thoughts on Brian Burke and the Maple Leafs?