Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
You can bet that fans will be talking coast to coast about Burke’s rumored six-year, $18 million salary. They will surely go deep into the speculation as regards exactly how much control he received from the historically meddlesome management there….
Me, I’ll be wondering how all of Canada will deal with the fact that Canada’s team—and love or hate the Leafs, that’s what they are—is now being managed and coached by a pair of Americans.
I know we’re dancing around a touchy issue here, but my intent is not to deal in cultural stereotyping and bigotry. I’ve spent more than half my working life in Canada. I love the country and its people. The only point I’m making here is that hockey—at least from a Canadian perspective—is Canada’s game.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Just how Burke goes about getting the Leafs on the winning track will be the most compelling part of watching the new regime operate — who stays and who goes among players and front-office staff.
However, it will be interesting to see how Burke handles the communication demands in a market that’s unlike any he’s ever worked in before; and in an era with more information sources than ever before.
Burke’s never been afraid to try new things. The year his Ducks won the Stanley Cup, he wrote a trading-deadline diary for USA Today that was astonishingly good reading. Even if only referenced players who were actually traded (so as not to compromise the relationship between teams and players who were talked about, but not moved), his candor wasn’t especially well-received by every member of the general manager’s fraternity.
more plus many other NHL topics…
Update 3:19pm ET: (Alanah) Just a note… if you scroll to the bottom of Duhatschek’s article, you’ll see a note about HHOF broadcaster Jiggs McDonald being trapped in Bangkok along with many other Canadians. For more info on that and how their family and many others need help, you can check out this post I put up earlier as well.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Luke Schenn is the club’s only “A” prospect at any level. Burke and David Nonis, likely to be named the club’s vice-president and director of player personnel, are taking on a mammoth job with few assets.
Clearly, moves like acquiring winger Lee Stempniak for Colaiacovo and Alex Steen was born of the get-back-to-the-playoffs-as-soon-as-possible philosophy. Colaiacovo and Steen should have been moved for draft picks or younger players, not a player who could make the team better today but will be an unrestricted free agent in 2010.
Similarly short-term was the thinking behind the flawed decision to keep Schenn in the NHL this season.
“Great. He’ll be unrestricted just as the team starts to get good,” said a Western Conference source.
A complete tear-down is the only logical option, which will include moving players like Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky for future assets.
From David Shoalts at the Globe & Mail:
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Brian Burke have reached an agreement on a contract, which is still not official because he has not signed it, and he could be presented to the hockey public as the team’s new president and general manager on Friday.
A source familiar with the negotiations indicated that the only thing that remains to be done is to get Burke’s signature on the contract, which is expected to happen on Friday. Burke has been in Boston all week with his family to celebrate the U.S. Thanksgiving and did not plan to travel to Toronto until Friday.
Update 6:00pm ET: From TSN, the deal is signed—
The Brian Burke saga has finally reached it’s conclusion as Burke has officially signed his contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs and will become the team’s President and general manager.
The Toronto Sun is reporting that Burke signed the papers at his home in Boston prior to his Thanksgiving dinner.
Update 6:17pm ET: TSN has changed their report at the same link. It now states the deal is not signed:
Burke says he’s been told the deal is done, however he hasn’t reviewed or signed the contract as of yet.
Nothing is expected to be finalized until Friday.
Sportsnet.ca reports it’s a 6 year deal but that the announcement isn’t expected till Saturday.
via Mike Knobler of the AJC,
(Ian)White called Kovalchuk “selfish” for going after him and taking a double-minor that could have hurt Atlanta. Kovalchuk said he was just finishing what White started.
White’s version: “I finished my check off. Clean hit. And then he took a run at me on the far blue [line]. So I followed him up the ice, I was saying something to him, and he stopped, and I wasn’t expecting that, obviously. I was protecting myself. That’s the ugly part of the game. He’ll get what’s coming to him.”
Kovalchuk: “Whatever he wants to say. The score on the board, we win. We get two points [in the standings]. We’ve got three games [left] against them, so if he’s got something he wants to say, I’m always ready to answer.”
Watch the fight below…
from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,
Brian Burke? Hates European players.
“Really, the league is pretty 50-50 these days, there’s so many Europeans,” the player said, shaking his head when asked about Burke’s reputation. “I don’t think there is that mindset any more. Not really. There are certain jobs and roles that appeal to certain types of players, but I think that’s the same whether the guy’s a Canadian or a Euro.”
The player paused. “I don’t think people view it that way any more … although, I don’t know that for sure.”
An hour or so later, Alexander Steen — the player talking — was traded by the Maple Leafs to the St. Louis Blues
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Brian Burke and Gord Kirke are in the final lap of negotiations that will see Burke introduced as president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs in time for a big splash on the Hockey Night In Canada broadcast of their game with the Philadelphia Flyers.
It is still too early to say Burke is officially signed, but at this point there is no reason to believe the remaining details, which involve the power structure under Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Richard Peddie, cannot be worked out. If so, Burke will likely be introduced as the new Leaf boss on Friday or Saturday.
This should answer some of the emails I received today asking if Burke was behind the Leafs trade today. As I responded to many of you, he is still employed by the Ducks and would not anything unethical.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The popular sentiment, at least until Brian Burke’s cellphone started ringing, was that his fingerprints were all over yesterday’s Toronto Maple Leafs trade.
“This is the fourth call I’ve had and you all have the same question,” he barked down the line from Boston, where he is visiting family for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. “No one from the Leafs talked to me about this, nor would it be appropriate for me to have any input. I am still officially an employee of the Anaheim Ducks.”
That could change by the end of the week, since an offer has landed in Burke’s hands.
Burke plans to stay in Boston until the end of the week but he will be talking to the Maple Leafs by telephone.
from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Winger Lee Stempniak was the rarest of commodities, a real offensive threat drafted and developed by the Blues.
So his departure for underachieving Maple Leafs Alex Steen, a versatile forward, and Carlo Colaiacovo, a rangy defenseman, is a bit of a head scratcher….
How could the Blues give up on a home-grown shooter who scored 27 goals two years ago and was producing at a point-per-game pace this season?
We’ll need some convincing in this corner of cyberspace. This deal sounds suspiciously like a Ron Caron trade, moving a potential standout for depth.
We’re not saying Colaiacovo is Murray Baron and Steen is Ron Sutter, but . . .
Nick Kypreos on Fan 590 reporting the follwing trade: Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak.
added 1:50pm, St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the team has acquired defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and center Alexander Steen from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Lee Stempniak.
“We feel we have improved our club today for both the short and long term by adding Carlo and Alex,” said Davidson. “Carlo is solid two-way defenseman and will provide depth to our blueline and Alex can play center or wing and can score at the NHL level.” “Lee has done a tremendous job in St. Louis. He is a classy individual and we would like to thank him for all of his work on and off the ice that he has provided to the St. Louis Blues.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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