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Does Brian Burke Know Something Others Don’t?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

In the most inactive summer of Brian Burke’s time running the Maple Leafs, you have to wonder: What did his friend, Gary Bettman, tell him about the coming season?

And can Burke’s quiet approach to making over the Leafs be attributed in any way to a belief there will not be an NHL season?

Burke never went out an acquired the veteran goaltender he said he wasn’t going to get at the end of last season. He wasn’t in any way aggressive in the free agent market, which is understandable considering the mistakes made in the past. He never found the first-line centre he hoped for — and has this odd belief that James vanRiemsdyk, a winger with talent and marginal success, can be that centre.

The biggest names on the Leafs — Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, James Reimer — are not playing overseas, getting ready for a season that might not be.

Without playing this season, the Leafs don’t have to account for the final years on the contracts of players such as Tim Connolly, Matthew Lombardi, Clarke MacArthur and Tyler Bozak, which frees up $13 million in salaries for starting over post-lockout. A chance to begin anew with youngsters like Morgan Rielly not that far away.

You wonder: What was Burke told about this season? You wonder, with his closeness to the league and his friendship with Bettman, what he’s known all along.

continue for a few more hockey notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

Here’s the money quote from the article:

“A former NHL star, whose views I value, said this about his experience in losing a full season to lockout: “In the last lockout, we were told we would not give in to a salary cap and we were willing to fight for that principle, no matter what. We wound up losing an entire season and gave in on the salary cap. I lost $3 million in that fight, $3 million I’ll never get back. Looking back, you wonder what were you fighting for?”

Bingo.  Signing a 50-50 deal and playing 6 seasons is more money in the pockets of the NHLPA than they’d get if they got 57-43 and played 5.

And they aren’t getting 57-43.

At some point I hope Fehr realizes that while he’s got a great group of guys who are willing to really, really hurt themselves just to stick it in Bettman’s smarmy, smiling, garden-gnome face… this is a losing battle.  It was over the day the lockout started.

See also: King Pyrrhus of Epirus.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 10/14/12 at 05:52 AM ET

pensfan29's avatar

There are other teams who stayed quiet too. With the exception of Parise, what did the Penguins do?

Posted by pensfan29 on 10/14/12 at 09:00 AM ET

starsfan26's avatar

At some point I hope Fehr realizes that while he’s got a great group of guys who are willing to really, really hurt themselves just to stick it in Bettman’s smarmy, smiling, garden-gnome face… this is a losing battle.  It was over the day the lockout started.

^^^ This…agree 100%

Posted by starsfan26 on 10/14/12 at 11:37 AM ET

Primis's avatar

There are other teams who stayed quiet too. With the exception of Parise, what did the Penguins do?

Posted by pensfan29 on 10/14/12 at 09:00 AM ET

Pittsburgh is not Toronto though.  Toronto is always a story no matter what.

Posted by Primis on 10/14/12 at 01:35 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

the players problem is they don’t respect the owners crack of the whip.  if they’d have just been smart and accepted whatever deal they were given we wouldn’t be in this mess.  players should know their place, for the good of the game at the very least if not for the reality that they’re lucky to get whatever money they do from the people who have more of it.  *#$%@&’ players

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 10/14/12 at 03:19 PM ET

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

Moooooooo!

—What should be the NHLPA’s new slogan

wink

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 10/15/12 at 09:39 AM ET

Avatar

um, didn’t maple leafs trade shenn for jvr???

Posted by FlyersFan on 10/15/12 at 12:19 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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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