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01-21-2013, 01:33 AM
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Vancouver Sun: Burke possesses the fatal flaw of character - obnoxious arrogance

Brian Burke did not defraud the sport he participated in and did not deceive the public and his inner circle with a lie, but Burke deceived himself and the followers of the teams he ran by believing that he was the smartest man in every room he was in. Burke believed he was the God of hockey whose every word should be immortalized in print and every action lauded as genius. When this did not occur Burke became bitter and abrasive, always in attack mode and willing to disregard the opinions of those in disagreement with him. When someone believes he has all the answers then that person has stopped growing and learning and is in the very real danger of actually regressing. This is what happened to Burke.

Whether the issues that arose in his personal life had any effect on his business side can only be answered by Burke himself. Certainly losing a son is enough to derail anyone and we can certainly understand his pain but Burke did not possess the personality that allowed those who did not know him personally to feel sorry for him. Then again Burke didnít seem to care what we thought of him. In the end he didnít seem to care what anyone thought of him. And this was his downfall.

Intelligent men make mistakes. Every single human being no matter how intelligent has made mistakes. Burke seemed to place himself in a category that was apart from human beings. He didnít make mistakes. While the hockey world discussed his errors Burke would simply wave his hand through the air and dismiss contrary opinions as those belonging to people not intelligent enough to be in the same room with him.

He refused to acknowledge that trading three prospects for a good player when the club desperately needed quantity more than quality was a miscalculation. He refused to acknowledge that elevating Dion Phaneuf into exalted status and making the bold pronouncement that this was the player who would lead the Leafs down the championship road was far too much pressure for a decent player to handle. And he refused to acknowledge that his inability to acquire a frontline goaltender was an error preferring to prop up James Reimer as the answer to the Leafs net minding problems.

Brian Burke said that he made only one mistakeóthat of joining a team that changed ownership. Very funny. Of course during his final press conference after being fired as Leafs General Manager Burke accepted responsibility for the failures of the club, not because he believed it but because he knew that if he blamed others he would have a much harder time finding another job. Nobody would want a man in charge who blamed others for his mistakes. But then Burkeís reputation is not a secret. He lost this job because of his personality as much as for his failures as team builder. If another franchise was thinking of hiring him then it would only be because of that public persona he portrays and the thought that he could drive interest in their club. He would be more carnival barker than hockey executive. But then Burke has nobody to blame but himselfónot like he would though.

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