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Burke Is The Story In Toronto

from Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star,

As this city prepares to enter another spring of NHL playoff discontent, we are about to be hit by season-end features and more what-went-wrong analysis during this train wreck of a Leaf campaign. With two weeks and six games left, this was a strange year on and off the ice.

In the eye of the storm sits Leafs GM Brian Burke, who for good or ill is clearly the face of the franchise. Even though he has effectively been put on notice by some vocal fans and columnists, most acknowledge that he’s not going anywhere with two years remaining on his contract. He also benefits from the fact that Rogers and Bell, the new owners set to take possession of their new toy, MLSE, still have much to deal with before they get the keys to the franchise.

Burke’s use and treatment of the media is fascinating: he’s a loquacious and interesting interview one day, a snarling, press-hating attack dog the next. His adversarial style is intended to deflect criticism from his players and coaches, and really, that is what he has been most effective at this year. Of course, it’s also a fault, as in a more stable ownership situation, he would likely be on the firing line.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Comments

Hank1974's avatar

For fans that want Burke ousted, it’s not going to happen. Just look at how long Fergy Jr.  lasted.
Much like Tom Hanks and the mouse in The Green Mile, if Fergy could last that long, and he’s as incompetent as they come, just how long will Burke last?

But don’t be too sad. Just think, you could have the legendary Scotty Bowman running the team if it weren’t for mismanagement. And who wants a guy like that running your ship??? All those Rings would sink the boat!

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/26/12 at 02:43 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t know about that.  Burke’s been the GM for longer than Ferguson was (with the lockout it might feel like a lot longer but Ferguson was the GM for three and a half seasons) and Ferguson had a team make the playoffs, something Burke hasn’t done.

I certainly hope that Burke is canned.

Posted by Garth on 03/26/12 at 03:43 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

Who do you think they could get in?  Would Dudley get booted with him?

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 03/26/12 at 03:50 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Brian Burke is many things, but Attention Whore is always chief among them.  I really, truly cannot stomach the idea of him running any franchise i were a fan of.

Posted by Primis on 03/26/12 at 03:55 PM ET

mmuskrat's avatar

I agree Primis.  That would be a nightma -

oh.  *sniff*  I’ll be okay I think.

Posted by mmuskrat on 03/26/12 at 05:25 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I don’t know about that.  Burke’s been the GM for longer than Ferguson was (with the lockout it might feel like a lot longer but Ferguson was the GM for three and a half seasons) and Ferguson had a team make the playoffs, something Burke hasn’t done.

But Fergy made the playoffs from before the lockout - when they had an unlimited budget. I’m sure even Burke could do the same if given a $90M payroll.
Fergy had no reputation and signed guys to outrageously long and air-tight contracts and yet he still lasted 2 or 3 seasons longer than he should have.

Burke has a longer resume so I assume he’ll be given the benefit of the doubt for an even longer period.

If the Leafs were smart they would have fired Burke along with Wilson.
Start from scratch, again.
But this time, use the extra time to get a good team in there. Do your best to lure Bowman from Chicago (if he’ll have you), or get someone who prefers to run a team without worrying about getting into the papers or on TV as much as possible.
Burke would do amazing in a reality show, but as a manager, he’s horrendous.

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/26/12 at 05:30 PM ET

Avatar

Fair enough, but JFJ was also tasked with cutting the payroll by more than 50% from his first year to his second whereas Burke was given carte blanche to do what he wanted when he was hired and has had more money each of his years than JFJ had in any of his post-lockout years.  And he’s managed to throw too much money at players like Komisarek and Beauchemin.

And, of course, he made the move of hiring possibly the worst coach you can hire if you’ve got a young team of developing players.

So yeah, if you take away JFJ’s year as the GM of a free-spending, non-cap team then he was the GM for two and a half years without making the playoffs whereas Burke has been the GM for four years without doing any better despite having more money to play with.

Posted by Garth on 03/26/12 at 06:42 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I hear you Garth.
I think both are substandard GM’s, but Burke comes with a heavier resume - which is why he’ll be given more time than JFJ was.
Sad state for Leaf fans. As a Wings fan, I couldn’t be happier. wink

Posted by Hank1974 on 03/26/12 at 06:43 PM ET

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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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