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Calgary Herald: Brian Burke offers his assessments on eve of NHL season

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10-01-2013, 12:54 AM
  #1
hockeywiz542
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Calgary Herald: Brian Burke offers his assessments on eve of NHL season

http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/...648/story.html



Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke speaks to the media at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.

Quote:
Starting with the Swiss Mr., Sven Baertschi.

“That I don’t know. That I don’t know,” replied Burke, unblinking, when asked what kind of potential he saw in the 20-year-old darling.

“I’m not sure.

“I will tell you I watched him his draft year because we had a player there (in Portland), Brad Ross that I had drafted in Toronto. (Baertschi) is a gifted kid who left home at an early age to make point, to get to a better hockey level. All I’ve seen are flashes of brilliance.

“And flashes of brilliance are fine if you’re working at a university, but they’re not much good to people in an NHL building. He’s got to learn there’s three zones on the ice surface in this league. I don’t see that he’s learned to play or compete in two of them. He’s gotta learn there’s a clock in this league, so many minutes in the game, and you’ve got to compete through all of them. And I see this is a guy focusing on one area, then only sporadically.

“So I don’t know what we have.

“I’m not ready to quit on a young kid, not ready to throw him under bus here today. I’m not going to rip him. I think you can tell from my comments that I see big holes and a lack of commitment that’s not going to get him anywhere in my books.

“But I’ve seen kids at that age, with those holes, turn into players.”
Quote:
“As Jay has said, repeatedly: We were a cap team with star players that did not have success. We are in a different mode going forward. We are below the cap. I think Jay’s done an able job of clearing it. We have $13 million, roughly, in cap room — I guess. Joe (Colborne) would eat up some of that, so $12 million. We are poised to add to this group if we see the value in doing it. We have been given authorization by ownership to spend to the cap. So that’s not an issue.

“The issue is value. We have not seen an addition that makes sense from a value perspective. Not from a budget perspective, a cost perspective. Just a value perspective. Nor are we going to add just to add. We think we owe our season ticket-holders and our sponsors that. Not to waste money.”

They’re barely into the process, Burke’s only been on the job a month, and already folks hereabouts are wondering how long it might take to get this run-aground boat off the rocks and out into the open sea again.

“People,” sighed the boss, “always ask for a time frame. They ask: How do you measure success? It’s a fair question. I’m not jumping on the question or ducking the question. I think the problem is I can’t stand when I see guys do this in other sports or in our sport, where a guy stands up and says ‘This process is going to take five years.’ Because basically then I’m asking you guys to give me five years. I’ve never understood that. And I’d never bite on it if I were a reporter. ‘What kind of BS is that? Five years?’ We have cap space, we have contract room, we have the ability for Jay to improve the team. And Jay, to his credit, has created that.

“Ask me today how long it’ll take, what is success, I don’t know because I don’t know what we’ll be able to do.

“I think the fans can live with this if they see a plan in place and they see that is absolutely, rigidly adhered to. Not someone saying ‘Well, here we’ll do this one day.’ We’ll stick with the kids.”

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10-01-2013, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeywiz542 View Post
http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/...648/story.html



Calgary Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke speaks to the media at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.
This discussion has been going on all day in at least two different threads.

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10-01-2013, 01:06 AM
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breaking news, old news is old

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10-01-2013, 05:09 AM
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“And flashes of brilliance are fine if you’re working at a university"

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10-01-2013, 05:18 AM
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This is one of the reasons i hate brian burke... i thought he was gonna keep his mouth shut for once.

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10-01-2013, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Haatley View Post
This is one of the reasons i hate brian burke... i thought he was gonna keep his mouth shut for once.
Considering this is his first interview since he was introduced I'd say he's doing a pretty good job so far.

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10-01-2013, 08:46 AM
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Gotta hand it to Burke for having the courage to actually critique his players.

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10-01-2013, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Baerstcheese View Post
Gotta hand it to Burke for having the courage to actually critique his players.
Exactly. It's easy to impress in a "country club atmosphere". The slightest effort is noticeable. I love how Burke is never impressed by someone's pedigree/draft position. He's only impressed by effort and results. That's really going to help this club going forward.

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10-01-2013, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Haatley View Post
This is one of the reasons i hate brian burke... i thought he was gonna keep his mouth shut for once.
I think its his best quality. He knows how to motivate players. I cant really think of a lot of propsects under his watch that failed. Remember when everyone was lamenting Kadri a few years ago? Burke handled that well and now Kadri is slowly looking like a good #1C

He is also VERY liked by his players, when he got canned in Toronto there were tons of players saying they were bummed out, Lupul, Kessel, Dion etc. All think he is a stand up guy. He isnt going to BS you like Feaster will, and i like that. We dont need BS, we need straight to the point.

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10-01-2013, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TylerSVT View Post
I think its his best quality. He knows how to motivate players. I cant really think of a lot of propsects under his watch that failed. Remember when everyone was lamenting Kadri a few years ago? Burke handled that well and now Kadri is slowly looking like a good #1C

He is also VERY liked by his players, when he got canned in Toronto there were tons of players saying they were bummed out, Lupul, Kessel, Dion etc. All think he is a stand up guy. He isnt going to BS you like Feaster will, and i like that. We dont need BS, we need straight to the point.
100% agreed.

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10-01-2013, 09:43 AM
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As a Leafs fan I can tell you with 100% certainty that players absolutely love playing for him. Forget who the exact player was that we picked up in a trade, but he said something along the lines of "I would to run through a wall for that guy" upon his initial meeting with Burke. He's going to give you honesty over everything else and will not BS you. Enjoy him, hes missed in TO

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10-01-2013, 11:27 AM
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As a Leafs fan I can tell you with 100% certainty that players absolutely love playing for him. Forget who the exact player was that we picked up in a trade, but he said something along the lines of "I would to run through a wall for that guy" upon his initial meeting with Burke. He's going to give you honesty over everything else and will not BS you. Enjoy him, hes missed in TO
Sounds good to me. For the last three years the Flames have been run by a bunch of glorified used car salesmen.

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10-01-2013, 12:33 PM
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Burke is all about the team and the community. I have no issue with what he said and like that he's in the organization.

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10-01-2013, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Zirakzigil View Post
Burke is all about the team and the community. I have no issue with what he said and like that he's in the organization.
You dont win by being the best player (Ovechkin), you win by being the best team (Chicago).

Burke knows that, he knows Sven needs to play in all 3 zones for the team to be successful.

It also goes with our organizational direction, smart players who play 3 zones and compete every night.

I like Burke.

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10-01-2013, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerSVT View Post
You dont win by being the best player (Ovechkin), you win by being the best team (Chicago).

Burke knows that, he knows Sven needs to play in all 3 zones for the team to be successful.

It also goes with our organizational direction, smart players who play 3 zones and compete every night.

I like Burke.
To suggest that Chicago isn't loaded with superstars is foolish. Toews, Kane and Keith are Ovechkin-level elite. They may not put up the same number of points, but they are better-rounded (see the Xbox-disconnect gif).

Perhaps your original statement should be "you don't win by having the best superstar, you win by having the best mix of superstars."

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10-01-2013, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wflames View Post
To suggest that Chicago isn't loaded with superstars is foolish. Toews, Kane and Keith are Ovechkin-level elite. They may not put up the same number of points, but they are better-rounded (see the Xbox-disconnect gif).

Perhaps your original statement should be "you don't win by having the best superstar, you win by having the best mix of superstars."
I suppose. My point was more or less you cannot win with a team full of players who only put up massive points. I love Malkin and Crosby but the pens don't really play like a team. There is a reason they got steamrolled by Boston last year.

Outside of Chara Boston has no real superstar players, yet they won the cup in 2011 and were in the finals last year.

Just my .02 that team play>individual play.

Harkins back to the old Iginla thing, i cheer for the team, not the player.

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10-01-2013, 01:19 PM
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^Good post.

Team effort goes a hell of a lot longer in the playoffs than individual skilled players. Boston doesn't have a single superstar by my definition but every year they are still the team I would fear the most in the playoffs. Creating a great TEAM is what we need to focus on here and not trying to create the brightest poster boy. That stuff sells jerseys but won't win you any Cups. Look at the Pens of 08-09. They probably had a worse team on paper than they had last season but they won because they played a great team game getting contributions from all players. The last two playoffs they have been a joke because they've had awful team defense and cohesion. The Flyers were feared in the playoffs when their greatest star was Pronger who acted as a leader and unifying force whilst contributing in every area. Now look at them. I could probably go on for a while here.

Chicago aren't a very good example IMO. They absolutely dominated last year because they had an incredible team AND superstar power. That luxury is extremely rare in a cap world.

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10-01-2013, 01:22 PM
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I liked how Burke kept giving credit to Feaster and commented on Monahan being Feaster's decision. Its good to know that they're roles are still there and being worked out.

The hiring of a skills coach was cool. Hopefully this improves faceoffs and shoot-outs. I appreciated his comment towards Ron Sutter being the only development guy and has to cover Europe and North America. That's likely a problem eventually getting resolved. A lot of great things.

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10-01-2013, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkGio View Post
I liked how Burke kept giving credit to Feaster and commented on Monahan being Feaster's decision. Its good to know that they're roles are still there and being worked out.

The hiring of a skills coach was cool. Hopefully this improves faceoffs and shoot-outs. I appreciated his comment towards Ron Sutter being the only development guy and has to cover Europe and North America. That's likely a problem eventually getting resolved. A lot of great things.
It's great to have a manager who is very candid and honest about concerns in the organisation. It's also much easier and more pleasant working for someone like that. As long as a manager is competent like Burke is, there is nothing wrong with cold honesty in a professional environment. Identify problems and solve them instead of trying to hide, sugarcoat, or ignore them. I don't really mind that he's honest with the media either as long as it's the same thing that's being communicated within the organisation.

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10-01-2013, 02:32 PM
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The Flames are lucky to have Burke.

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10-01-2013, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Nordberg View Post
It's great to have a manager who is very candid and honest about concerns in the organisation. It's also much easier and more pleasant working for someone like that. As long as a manager is competent like Burke is, there is nothing wrong with cold honesty in a professional environment. Identify problems and solve them instead of trying to hide, sugarcoat, or ignore them. I don't really mind that he's honest with the media either as long as it's the same thing that's being communicated within the organisation.
Too much honesty can be detrimental. Players don't want to get humiliated and privacy of the locker room should be respected. Saying negative things about someone to the media is chicken **** in my eyes. I tell people to their face and leave everyone else out of it because its not their business.

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10-01-2013, 04:26 PM
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Too much honesty can be detrimental. Players don't want to get humiliated and privacy of the locker room should be respected. Saying negative things about someone to the media is chicken **** in my eyes. I tell people to their face and leave everyone else out of it because its not their business.
I think you'll find with Burke that he's very selective on his comments he makes to the media. While that may sound completely the opposite of how he is, I've said before that Burke is very smart at situations like this and he is very deliberate in his choice of words and there intent. Players love Burke because I can't think of another GM or an executive in the NHL that backs his players and staff more than Burke does. Burke will have his players or coaches back to the point where it will cost him his job. He's a very smart guy and he knows how to get the most from his players and he will not be constantly calling out Baertschi every time he talks to the media. I expect Sven to respond well.

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10-01-2013, 06:34 PM
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Too much honesty can be detrimental. Players don't want to get humiliated and privacy of the locker room should be respected. Saying negative things about someone to the media is chicken **** in my eyes. I tell people to their face and leave everyone else out of it because its not their business.
Brian does not humiliate his players. He tells it like it is. In this case, it's up to Sven and noone else to show that he belongs in the NHL. If anything, Burke protects his players(and they love him for it), but this isn't kindergarten either. It's Sven's responsibility to take. I can understand your view to a certain point, but this is the NHL and if a player can't take being called out for a lack of effort, when they clearly showed a lack of effort, they're probably not going to make it anyway. I believe and I hope that this will help motivate Sven to prove to Burke and everyone else that he is better than that.

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10-01-2013, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Nordberg View Post
Brian does not humiliate his players. He tells it like it is. In this case, it's up to Sven and noone else to show that he belongs in the NHL. If anything, Burke protects his players(and they love him for it), but this isn't kindergarten either. It's Sven's responsibility to take. I can understand your view to a certain point, but this is the NHL and if a player can't take being called out for a lack of effort, when they clearly showed a lack of effort, they're probably not going to make it anyway. I believe and I hope that this will help motivate Sven to prove to Burke and everyone else that he is better than that.
I will say this again, one last time... I'm FINE with calling out players. Never once did I have a problem with that.

I call out employees all the time. I just do it like a man and I do it respectfully. I say it to them, not to the people around them and behind their back.

And I say it to them in private when they're not being humiliated. By doing so, I avoid several defense mechanisms based on social negative reinforcement, therefore only leaving the message I want heard.

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10-01-2013, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkGio View Post
I will say this again, one last time... I'm FINE with calling out players. Never once did I have a problem with that.

I call out employees all the time. I just do it like a man and I do it respectfully. I say it to them, not to the people around them and behind their back.

And I say it to them in private when they're not being humiliated. By doing so, I avoid several defense mechanisms based on social negative reinforcement, therefore only leaving the message I want heard.
When you are giving a press conference and you are directly asked about an employee, then I will take this response seriously. Burke is an honest person, he was asked a question and answered it. He even said that he thinks there is alot of potential to improve. This is not your average job.

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