Kukla's Korner Hockey
Elliotte Friedman of HNIC interviews Brian Burke and discusses both Team USA and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
If there is a likely captain out of the group that wear A, it could well be Phaneuf. At 24, he’s closer in age to the players he leads. Kaberle is 32, Beauchemin 29 and Komisarek 28.
The core of players around whom this team is being built is much younger. Phil Kessel is 22. Luke Schenn is 20. Tyler Bozak will be 24 later this month. Viktor Stalberg is 24. Carl Gunnarsson and Nikolai Kulemin are 23. Luca Caputi is 21.
“We’ve got a young energetic group that works hard shift-in, shift-out,” said Phaneuf. “It’s a fun group to be around. A very upbeat group; a young group.”
Don Cherry thinks so.
Watch the fight, then Cherry’s comments follow.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
For a tantalizing 24 hours, Brian Burke had the valued card that he had so badly wanted to play in the months counting down to Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline.
Tomas Kaberle and agent Rick Curran put themselves in the big game, letting it be known they’d relent and waive his no-trade clause, pending Burke’s exploratory talks with three select clubs.
But Burke either could not make something happen with such a limited field or had too little time, and the day ended with Kaberle aboard the flight to Boston with the rest of the Leafs for Thursday’s game.
Kaberle has been singin’ in the rain for the five years the Leafs have missed the playoffs, convincing himself that sunny skies were coming back.
per TSN for a couple of draft picks (4th an 7th)
Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s Tweet:
Martin Skoula to New Jersey is confirmed. Done.
added 11:20am: Leafs get a 2010 5th round pick in return.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
If Brian Burke was worried about the embarrassment of finishing dead last in the NHL and giving the first pick in this summer’s draft to the Boston Bruins, he’s not showing it.
The Maple Leafs president/GM dumped one of his best forwards, Alexei Ponikarovsky, on Tuesday night in a deal that might help the Leafs down the road, but certainly not right away. He picked up a prospect, local boy Luca Caputi, in the deal, along with a veteran defenceman Martin Skoula.
Skoula might help in the short term, but it’s more likely he’ll be flipped by Wednesday’s trade deadline. Moreover, underachieving winger Lee Stempniak, another veteran, may also be moved for a draft pick, further weakening the Toronto roster.
So, clearly, Burke has already accepted the reality that the Phil Kessel deal with the Bruins will prove to be more costly than originally imagined. Leaf fans might as well accept it, too.
from Jonas Siegel of 640am,
It’s not happening.
That’s at least the latest impression from Kaberle who reiterated Sunday his much-repeated stance of remaining in blue and white beyond the March 3rd trade deadline.
“I hope so,” Kaberle said of staying with the Leafs through March 3rd. “Nothing changed on my side so we’ll see.”
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Believe it or not, Burke, broom in hand, is trying to do the same type of housecleaning with his NHL squad that he admirably completed with Team USA.
Once the final horn has sounded and the medals — whatever colour they might be — are dangling around the necks of his American players, Burke and his right-hand man, Dave Nonis, will turn their attention to resuming their facelift of a Toronto franchise that has not hoisted a Stanley Cup since 1967. With the NHL’s roster freeze lifted at the conclusion of the Olympics Sunday, Burke has vowed to be “busy” as the clock clicks down to the league’s March 3 trade deadline.
Burke wants to bring the average age of his Leafs down while bringing its intensity up. He wants to change the culture both inside the dressing room and out on the ice.
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
There is nothing small in Brian Burke’s world. He does not use small words. He does not say the pressure on Team Canada at the Olympics is intense; he says it is “glacial, unremitting, unrelenting.” He does not say that he prefers his NHL teams—over the last 18 years he has been the G.M. in Hartford, Vancouver, Anaheim and now Toronto—to be tough or even robust; they must have the “proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence.” In macho throwdowns, Burke’s thesaurus is bigger than your thesaurus.
He does not make small trades. While other G.M.‘s tinker, swapping second-round draft choices for third-line rent-a-centers, Burke swings deals that bring 24-year-old franchise defenseman Dion Phaneuf and $7 million goaltender Jean-Sébastien Giguère to the Maple Leafs.
Burke does not have spats. He has epic Shakespearean feuds. In 2007, when Edmonton G.M. Kevin Lowe extended an offer sheet to winger Dustin Penner, a restricted free agent on Burke’s Stanley Cup—champion team in Anaheim, Burke lambasted the move and said, “If I had run my team into the sewer like [Lowe did], I wouldn’t throw a grenade at the other 29 teams.”
And now Burke’s grief matches the enormity of everything else in his life. On snow-slicked U.S. Highway 35 in Indiana, his 21-year-old son, Brendan, student manager of the top-ranked Miami (Ohio) hockey team, died in a car accident on Friday, Feb. 5.
read on (recommended)...
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