Brian Burke's public statements are calculated - listenling to them and drawing early conclusions is a mistake. The man is an ass - but he's more than capable to do what needs to be done.
People seem to get too impatient for a big deal to happen - and while I also can't hardly wait for deadline day (I've actually taken the day off work so I can enjoy it) - I'm also glad Burke isn't making stupid deals for the sake of making deals to pacify worried fans.
Since he's come on board - I get the feeling as an organization we no longer the joke around the league and in the media. Our players - whether you agree with it or not - are being held accountable for the first time in maybe decades.
You may not want the Sedins - but prior to Burke there were NO rumours of nyone wanting to sign in Toronto.
Trading Kaberle for the sake of trading him stupid. You only trade him if you're going to get something really good back - and you'll only get somethng amazing back if all the other GM's truly believe you're will to keep him.
Come Deadliine day, I'm confident we'll be futher along in the rebuild - but he will not trade the whole team as some seem to be expecting. That's just not realistic. I would imgane he makes about 3 - 4 deals that lands us some prospects and extra draft picks.
Then he'll make a couple more moves at the draft and over the summer. Then he'll do more at next years draft.
The key is ... it will take time to rebuild correctly. If you expect a quick fix, you're setting youself up for dissapointment.
The reason I have faith in Burke? Because he's an ass. He's not going to make a stupid move to show he's doing something or to make the owners / fans happy ... because he doesn't care what others think or want - and to me, that's a characteristic we've been missing far too long!
i do kind of get the feeling burke wants to retool rather than rebuild
more of a sign big names in the summer and go for it feeling rather than dump vets for picks and make it a 4 yr plan type of thing
esp. after he said if there's a guy we can get to help us get into the playoff i'd do it
Here is a summary of his time as GM in Vancouver. It should be instructive since the Leafs seems to be in somewhat similar circumstances. However the advantage for Burkie was that Mike keenan had already got rid of much of the dead wood and he had blue chippers in Mogilny and Bure to move for assets.
One of the advantages is that Burkie is so vocal and gets so much press it is easy to check his record.
Brian Burke -Arrogance mixed with bluff, bluster and pomposity. It is always about Burkie.
Burke's drafting and trade record were quite abysmal but he does lead the league in self-promotion and is a legend in his own mind.
He was lucky to start with Naslund, Bertuzzi and Ohlund. He also had superstars Pavel Bure and Alex Mogilny to use as trade bait - if he could not have done something with those two top flight assets then he would have ranked with Mad Mike Milbury.
Burke's inability to solve the goaltending problems alone were reason enough for his departure from Vancouver let alone his draft record and some of his questionable trades and decisions not to re-sign free agents.
In June 1998 Burke was hired and who can forget his famous pronouncement about working with Mike Keenan:
"I'm thrilled to have Mike Keenan as my coach. It's not something that I am saddled with. It's something I have been blessed with."
Burke's first moves were to sign Murray Baron as a free agent and IMHO made his first of many goaltending blunders by failing to resign Arturs Irbe, despite Irbe recording very respectable numbers of a 2.73 GAA, and a winning record of 14-11-6 on a horrible Canucks team. Irbe signed with Carolina and would have several more solid seasons, including a trip to the Cup finals. Burke decided to go with Garth Snow instead of Irbe.
On January 17, 1999 Burke pulled the trigger on the Bure trade sending to Florida RW Pavel Bure, D Bret Hedican, D Brad Ference and a 3rd round pick (Robert Fried a 6'3" 210 lb RW who just graduated from Harvard last season) and receiving in return D Ed Jovanovski, G Kevin Weekes, LW Dave Gagner, LW Mike Brown, and a 1st round pick in 2000 (Nathan Smith).
Recall some of Burkie's BS about that deal. Kevin Weekes was hailed by Burke as "The Goalie of the Future" (Burke trademark) but Weekes would not even be "The Goalie of a Full Season" (my trademark) as Burke would trade him within a year. In response to questions about why he would possibly want an aging (and apparently washed up) Dave Gagner Burke claimed that he absolutely insisted that Gagner be part of the deal and if he was not then according to Burkie... "it was deal breaker" (my note - Gagner was not resigned for the next season after doing virtually nothing in a Canucks jersey). To use a favourite Burkism, Burkie must have been labouring under a drug-induced fantasy if Gagne was the deal breaker.
Mike Brown (not this current one) was hailed as the second coming of Bob Probert (although one assumes without the drug convictions) but would not make it as a Probert or even a plug ugly enforcer as he was an unsigned free agent and is a career minor leaguer at best. The first round draft choice in the deal would be used by Burke to draft Nathan Smith - and he leads the NHL in... games not played.
While Bure is now out with what looks like career-ending knee injuries he did have some great years after leaving (led the NHL in goals) and Bret Hedican went to the Cup finals with Carolina and remains a very serviceable top four D-Man while Brad Ference has turned into that very rugged and mean crease clearing D-man with Phoenix that the Canucks lacked. The Canucks did have Jovo left from the deal.
Oh yes, and recall that Burke said he would not hold Keenan accountable for the Canucks record until after the Bure trade was completed and Keenan had some time to work with the new assets. Burke was true to his word, two games later he fired Keenan and hired Marc Crawford (for those of you who missed it that is a sarcastic comment). BTW for those of you who forget since Crawford remained under contract to the Av's it cost Burke yet another second round draft pick (Hasn't he run out of them yet?) to be able to sign Crawford.
Burke's 1999 Draft selections were 2. LW Daniel Sedin, 3. C Henrik Sedin, 69. D Rene Vydareny, 129. LW Ryan Thorpe, 172. D Josh Reed, 189. G Kevin Swanson 218. Markus Kankaanpera, 271. D Darrell Hay. This was the wheeling and dealing draft that saw Bryan McCabe go to Chicago for the privilege of drafting the Sedins together. Too bad McCabe never amounted to much as D-man. (*sarcasm again)
Here is how the Sedin maneuvering actually went from the end of the 1998-99 season to the draft. The Canucks played Calgary on the last game of the season, the Flames won 5-4 . The next day, the Islanders won a game, which bumped the Canucks from 4th last, to the 3rd last team in the league. Chicago then went into the fourth overall pick slot, bumping New York to 5th. When the lottery came around, this gave the Canucks the third overall pick. Burke then traded D Bryan McCabe and the Canuck's first pick in the 2000 draft to Chicago for their fourth overall pick. This gave Brian Burke two picks, third and fourth overall. Burke then landed the first overall pick from Tampa Bay, and then flipped it to Atlanta for the second overall pick, and a third round pick in 2000. Atlanta made a promise with Brian Burke that they would pick only Patrik Stefan with their first overall selection.
During the pre-season both Weekes and Snow were hurting so the Canucks grabbed Manny Legace from Detroit on waivers but when Weekes and Snow recovered he was sent back to Detroit. Too bad Legace would never make it as an NHL goalie (more sarcasm).
The next up in the Brian Burke Vancouver goalie sweepstakes was ... Felix "The Cat" Potvin. Burke traded Bill Muckalt, Kevin Weekes (his "Goalie of the Future") and Dave Scatchard for G Felix Potvin, and two draft picks.
"In Felix Potvin we have acquired a goaltender who I think is one of the better goaltenders in the NHL. When I first came to Vancouver, I expressed dissatisfaction with the state of affairs of our goaltenders,'' Burke said at the time of the trade.'' I repeatedly stressed that theme. We have been trying to upgrade at this position for some time, and I feel we have done that (with Felix Potvin).'' This would prove to be yet another drug-induced fantasy.
Burke's rationale for the Potvin trade was expressed as follows: "I don't feel either one (Snow or Weekes) has done it. I'm tired of starting games down 1-0 and 2-0. I put up with it for as long as I could, I think I was patient with both of them. Now I've made a move that says 'I think we need a No. 1 goaltender.' " Well Burkie was right to some extent - instead of starting down 1-0 or 2-0 with Potvin the Canucks would often start down 3-0.
In an attempt to make the trade look better to the fans, a novel approach was tried. Snow was usually given the starts against the elite teams and Potvin was started against the lower-ranked teams. This has to be one of the more bizarre uses of a "Number One" goalie in recent years. The moved backfired as Snow stood on his head and Potvin was at best ordinary.
Burke's next deal was with Lou Lamoriello and he got his pocket picked sending 2nd and 3rd round picks to the Devils for the eminently forgettable Vadim Sharifjanov.
Burke went back to Lou for his next trade sending Alex Mogilny to the Devils for Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson. The best comment on this trade was contributed by Gary Mason of The Sun who joked in his column after the trade, "Haven't the Canucks learned anything about trading for players named Pederson?" (In refence to the infamous Cam Neely for Barry Pederson trade). Actually this may be the best trade of Burke's tenure but then I am big fan of Brendan Morrison so YMMV. Any GM should be able to get value for an elite player like Alex Mogilny.
Crawford put together a Kid Line of Josh Holden, Peter Schaefer and Matt Cooke and they played extremely well down the stretch that year with Druken clocking in with 7 goals and 9 assists to almost sneaking into the play-offs.
Burke's 2000 draft selections were Nathan Smith, Thatcher Bell, Tim Branham, Pavel Duma, Brandon Reid, Nathan Barrett, Tim Smith (please, please please can someone drafted please, make the NHL).
In the 2000-01 run-up the Burke did not exercise the team option to re-sign Messier and he went back to the NYR. Burke signed Scott LaChance as a free agent and Bob Essensa as the back-up goalie (who would "save" the season for the Canucks). Garth Snow was allowed to leave as free agent with nothing gained in return. Burke should have got rid of Potvin and kept Snow to team up with Essensa.
The Canucks home opener against the Av's proved out Burke's statement of why he got Potvin - he was tired of starting games down 1-0 or 2-0. In the Colorado game the first three shots taken by the Av's went past Potvin and the Canucks were down 3-0.
At the Christmas break Felix Potvin had a personal record of 9-12-3 while Bob Essensa was clearly outplaying him with a record of 8-2-1 but Brian Burke stood behind his anointed number one goaltender and Crawford continued to play him while Potvin was letting in soft goal after soft goal. Finally after a horrible January by Potvin ( ranked #37 in the league) Burke finally would admit "We have a crisis with our goaltending that I have not successfully resolved." Talk about stating the obvious. Los Angeles traded for Potvin sending future considerations back to Vancouver.
On February 7th, 2001 Burke traded for Dan Cloutier from the Tampa Bay Lightning sending over Adrian Aucoin and a 2nd round draft choice (yet again). Good thing Aucoin was washed up as a D-Man. (more sarcasm).
Burke's big time move that year at the draft deadline was acquiring D-man Drake Berehowsky from Phoenix to try to fill the hole left by Aucoin's departure (Aucoin was plus 13 at the time of his trade). It would cost Burke yet another second round pick.
The Canucks made the play-offs barely and were swept in four straight by the Av's. The first three games were very close as Essensa stood on his head until an injury forced him out of the series. In game four Cloutier would melt down and allow 3 goals in 38 seconds which was precursor of things to come in future play-offs for him.
Burke's drafts for 2001 were R.J. Umberger, Fedor Fedorov, Evgeny Gladskikh, Kevin Bieska, Jason King and Konstantin Mihailov. It would have been a great draft if Burkie had not manged to screw up the Umberger negotiations.
Burke then made another one of his mind-numbingly bad goalie decisions. He let Bob Essensa (who had saved the last season by taking over from Potvin and put the Canucks in the play-offs the year before) go without any compensation back. His replacement was the perennial Vezina trophy candidate Martin Brodeur (OOPS sorry that was Martin BROCHU). Was Burke in yet another drug-induced fantasy when he replaced Back-up Bob with this guy????? Did Burke think he was actually getting Brodeur??? Will Marc Crawford's hair ever move in a high wind???
Brochu was god-awful (no wins, a 4.17 GAA and a .856 save percentage - you know like Dan Cloutier play-off stats). He would be released about one month into the season and replaced with Peter Skudra.
Fortunately Burke's other off-season free agent signings were much better than Brochu as he signed the ever dangerous Herb Vasiljevs as well as Andre Savage (Yes folks I am being sarcastic yet again).
With the Canucks floundering yet again Burke pulled the trigger on a trade getting back Trevor Linden and a second round draft pick (Denis Grot) for a 2002 first round pick (Boyd Gordon) and a 2003 third round pick. As a real bonus the Canucks were only on the hook for 1/4 of Linden's $4 million salary as Montreal and Washington ate the rest. I rank this trade up there with the Mogilny for Morrison and Pederson trade.
Burke's next trade was less successful and left a hole that would be very hard to fill as Donald Brashear was traded to Philly for the enigmatic Jan Hlavc. Burke next traded for Trevor Letowski, prospect Tyler Bouck and a third round pick for Drake Berehowsky and Denis Pederson.
The #8 Canucks drew the #1 Red Wings and took a 2-0 series lead. Things were going fine until Cloutier fanned on the Nick Lidstrom longshot and that was all she wrote. However as the Canucks were going down in the next four games a number of Burkisms were issued as Burkie fumed away:
"Todd Bertuzzi does not play for Detroit. It just looks like that because he's wearing two or three red sweaters all the time."
"I didn't know that tackling was an acceptable tactic. I didn't see it in the rule book."
"Sedin is not English for punch me and headlock me in a scrum."
"Our goalie is the goaltender on the ice who does not dive when he gets brushed."
"Detroit has 12 captains and assistants to speak to officials. We find that unusual. Most teams have two or three. It amazes me the number of players who are allowed to protest calls in Detroit uniforms."
The coach and team took their cue from the GM and led the post-season in incessant whining. Not too helpful with the officials.
It did not help and the Canucks were gone in 6 games as Cloutier's post-season stats took a nosedive - again.
Burke's 2002 draft picks were D Kirill Koltsov, Denis Grot, Brett Skinner, Lukas Mensator, John Laliberte, Rob McVicar, Marc-Andre Roy, Ilia Krikunov, Matt Violin, Thomas Nussli and Matt Gens. Yikes.
In the off-season Burke traded failed first rounder Josh Holden to Toronto for Jeff Farkas (who was then traded several months later to Atlanta for Chris Herperger and Chris Neilson), Ryan Bonni went to the Leafs as well for futures and in a third deal with Toronto Tomas Mojzis was obtained for Brad Leeb. Free agents Tyler Moss, Jaroslav Obsut, John Craighead and Nolan Baumgartner were signed. Burke then exchanged the disgruntled Peter Schaefer with Ottawa for Sami Salo.
Burke refused to re-sign Andrew Cassels, who then signed with the Columbus Bluejackets, as did steady D-man Scott LaChance.
However in typical Burke fashion he could not pass up the opportunity to take shots at the departing players. He would do the same thing the next year with Trent Klatt and Murray Baron. It is not one of his more endearing qualities. Burke decided to go with Henrik Sedin as the second line centre rather than resign Cassels and it was a huge mistake as the Canucks never had a genuine No. 2 centre and shifted Trevor Linden during the season to try to fill that hole. Brendan Morrison was being double-shifted and played the power play and penalty kill and with the loss of Lindgren – by the Wild series Morrison was worn out.
Losing Scott LaChance was big mistake IMHO as he and Jovanovski had great chemistry and Jovo had his best season ever paired with LaChance. LaChance is not flashy but he was a very solid stay at home defender who takes the man and rarely gets caught out of position. He was able to cover well for Jovanovski when he took some of his more high-risk moves and worked better with Jovo than his replacement Marek Malik. This was bad move on Burke’s part and when the defense was crashing down around their ears in the Wild series, Scott LaChance could have been a stabilizing force on the blue line. This one rates up there as bad a move as some of Burke’s goalie blunders.
As the season got under way Burke traded Jan Hlvac and Harold Druken to Carolina for Marek Malik and Darren Langdon and signed Mats Lindgren as a free agent. Lindgren got into the line-up about a month into the season and the PK was immediately improved and it would be a strength until Lindgren went down with yet another back injury late in the season ( this would end his career). At the trade deadline Burke would trade for Brad May from Phoenix for a conditional second or third round pick. May would make an immediate impact knocking out Keith Tchachuk with a heavy hit in his debut but would produce little else.
The Canucks lost out for first place by playing dreadful in their last few games. Down 3-1 to the Blues the Canucks came back. However when they were up 3-1 over the Wild the team played poorly and Cloutier turned in the worst stats of any starting goalie in the post-season cementing his reputation that he was good in the regular season but could not produce in the post-season. Crawford had lost confidence in back-up Peter Skudra and Alex Auld was called up to play a couple of games (sound familiar?) but the Wild closed out the series winning in Game 7 in Vancouver. Burke just cannot seem to get the No.1 and back-up goalie combination that will work.
Burke's 2003 draft picks were Ryan Kesler, Marc-Andre Bernier, Brandon Nolan, Ty Morris, Nicklas Danielsson, Chad Brownlee, Francois-Pierre Guenet, Sergei Topol, Nathan McIver and Matthew Hansen.
The off-season was marked by Burke's running media battles with free agents Trent Klatt and Murray Baron who had been two of the grittier "heart" performers over the last few years. This was capped off by Burke's famous "I'll drive him to the airport" crack about Klatt and his observation that Baron would not be able to sign with a team for the money he was being offered by the Canucks. Burke was right, the next daySt. Louis signed Baron for more money than the Canucks were offering (More sarcasm). With those two players gone much of the heart and soul of the team left town.
Both Klatt and Baron had excellent seasons with their new teams and Baron's presence was critical with the injuries to the Blues defensive corps. May who was signed for Klatt money did not have a good year and was pretty much a washout. Much of the criticism of the team has focused on the lack of grit and heart and both Baron and Klatt have those elements of the game in spades. In retrospect the failure to sign Klatt and Baron may have been two of the worst moves by Burke, outside of his inability to evaluate goalie talent.
Dan Cloutier was tendered only a one-year contract and Johan Hedberg who had been to the Cup Finals with Pittsburgh was signed to back him up and push him as a starter. Unfortunately Hedberg would enter Marc Crawford’s goalie doghouse, where so many not named Cloutier have gone before.
The other big free agent signings were Mike Keane, Jiri Slegr and Magnus Arvedson. Just as Arvedson seemed to be rounding into form, he suffered a career-ending knee injury. Keane played well in limited minutes and knew his role. Slegr was traded to Boston late in the year for future considerations and in retrospect he should have been kept as a depth defenseman which would have avoided the need to get Marc Bergevin at the deadline. So four of the major free agent signings for the 2003-04 season May, Hedberg, Slegr and Arvedson ultimately can be judged failures while Keane was a qualified success. Not a great average for a GM.
Bertuzzi was the focus at the beginning of the year when he finally signed his $6.8 million per year long-term contract and unfortunately at the end of the year when he sucker punched Steve Moore and was suspended indefinitely (minimum until after the end of the play-offs). Considering the new CBA Bertuzzi was overpaid to the tune of about $2 million per season.
Could Burke have done more to defused the Moore situation rather than appearing to pour gasoline on the fire as he did by continually grousing about the “cheap shot” by Moore? The NHL certainly thought so and hammered the Canucks management with a hefty fine. Moore sertainly thinks so as he has sued the Canucks for failure to properly control the players.
The whining and carping at the officials started with Burke and ran down hill through Crawford and a number of players such as Bertuzzi - just shut up and let your play speak for itself IMHO. You would think Burke after spending time at league headquarters would have grasped that lesson.
One of the more distracting soap operas was the RJ Umberger saga where the player asked for the going rate and was low-balled. This was a repeat of the Mattias Ohlund fiasco under Pat Quinn except this time Umberger would be an unrestricted free agent after the season and there would be no compensation due the Canucks or right to match – yet another wasted first round pick. Again it seemed to be a case as soon as Burke pokes his nose into negotiations instead of letting Dave Nonis handle them, they go south in heartbeat. That was the case with Cassels, LaChance, Klatt and Baron as well.
The whole thing made little sense as the player had the trump card of unrestricted free agent status and by waiting so late to move his rights, Burke had a massively devalued asset on his hands. Umberger’s rights would finally be traded to the Rangers at the trade deadline along with Martin Grenier for the rental of Martin Rucinsky for the late season and play-offs. Geoff Sanderson was re-acquired for a 2004 third round pick ( I think Burke ran out of second rounders) and veteran Marc Bergevin was obtained at the deadline from Pittsburgh for a 2004 seventh round pick. Murray Baron or Jiri Slegr would have been nice insurance to have on board when Bryan Allan went down late in the year as Bergevin had lost just too much foot speed (not that he had much to begin with).
Two rookies, Kesler and King played well in spurts but both ended up back in the minors for more experience. Again Cloutier went down with injuries during the season that again raised questions as to his conditioning and durability and while he racked up the wins, his personal stats placed him in the lower half of the goalies in the league. When Cloutier was injured in the play-offs, Crawford turned to Alex Auld again rather than Hedberg who had been signed earlier with much fanfare.
The goalie Wheel of Fortune goes round and round for Burke but it always seems to stop short of the jackpot. I think I’ll buy a vowel, Brian.
In spite of his own PR and self-promtion, Burke has had little to do with the financial management of the team and its profitability outside of direct hockey operations as that was the sole province of Chief Operating Officer Dave Cobb. Cobb implemented the Pay-Per-View packages, negotiated the lottery scheme, set up the business roundtable and generally handles all media, sponsorship and league matters not directly related to hockey operations. He is also the alternate League Governor and has been taking more and more of leading role with the Board of Governors. Cobb has made a pile of money for Orca Bay playing the currency market and has used the rising Canadian dollar as hedge. Everyone in the organization who is not in the hockey operations department reports to him and he in turn reports not to President Brian Burke but rather Stan McCammon, Burke’s boss. Is it any wonder that Dave Cobb was the insider’s pick as the new President of the team if Burke is let go? Unfortunately (for the Canucks) the Vancouver Olympic Committe grabbed him.
You can evaluate Burke’s draft and trade record for yourself. My take is outside of his poor showing with goalies, his trades have been pretty hit and miss and his draft record is below average at best IMHO. He has managed to alienate some pretty good hockey players who have given great efforts for the Canucks in the past and he has failed to re-sign free agents who could have helped with the missing ingredient of heart and emotion which many see lacking in the current edition of the team. He has re-signed core players to reasonable contracts and that is to his credit.
Burke also has apparently ruffled the feathers of a number of fellow GM’s with his constant comments about their abilities as compared to his own. He proclaims that other GM's are an embarrasment the way they throw around money and that if they had to make do with HIS resources they would be in big trouble - how long can you keep calling your fellow GM's idiots before they decide they would rather deal with ABB (Anybody But Burke)? Here is a typical Burke comment:
"I have never been more embarrassed to work in the NHL as I was on July 1st and 2nd . I know we can't support the salaries. I know that some of the teams who have spent that money are doing it without the financial capability to pay the money. I'm running my business like a business. I'm going head-to-head with people who are crazy, as far as I'm concerned." -Vancouver Canucks GM Brian Burke, July 2001
I know if I was a GM of another team I would be rushing out to do Burke a favour. (NOTE - that is sarcasm)
It was instructive to hear Dave Nonis complain on the radio about the time of the trade deadline in 2004 that teams rejected a number of Vancouver deals in favour of other teams’ packages that Nonis characterized as offering less than the Canucks deals. WHY???? - Perhaps Burkie’s act has worn thin not only with Canuck ownership but also with his fellow GM’s?
IMHO Burke was not as big a loss as some would have you believe, (including Brian Burke himself) and his PR shill (oops sorry independent journalist) Gary Mason of the Vancouver Sun.
Farewell to the Mouth that Roared and may he never return to Vancouver.
I think its just favoritism, Leaf fans love Antropov because he has been here a while.
You should reward based on performance, not tenure. Thats why we have been losers since 67
well i think u should reward on performance as well.....
but over a long period of time one season dictates nothing.. antropov isnt my fav player and i like moore more than i do nik, but nik is the more valuable forward because he has proven more over the years hes been here
I think Brian Burke, and Ron Wilson for that matter, are both egomaniacal asshats. That, however, doesn't disqualify them from being good at what they do. No reason to panic yet, at all IMO. Remember, Burke has the lead up to UFA as well, so many trades may not happen until the draft when prying a young roster player away is easier than when the other team is heading for the post-season.
TC, why the new moniker ? (I kinda like it though)
well i think u should reward on performance as well.....
but over a long period of time one season dictates nothing.. antropov isnt my fav player and i like moore more than i do nik, but nik is the more valuable forward because he has proven more over the years hes been here
whats that? that he is a slow footed playler who is a fringe 20 goal scorer?
theres a fine line between support talent and star talent in the NHL, and quite often the support talent gets to much money, A team like Detroit has it right where it only spends money on the stars and fills the support roles with left over heaps of free agency or from within
Just look at the Anaheim Ducks for your answer, as to Burke's resume of team building.
Burke inherited some young players Getzlaf and Perry, Kunitz and JS Giguere etc and a non playoff team, and built a 1 time Cup winner with a bunch of luck with Selanne and Niedermayer falling into his lap (as they chose the team for him as UFAs).. However the house of cards is coming down quickly already as the aging Ducks are have troubles competing.
Now Anaheim is already talking about trading Pronger and getting younger, & in danger of missing the playoffs.
Quick fix mentality verses long term consistent contender concept.
11 free agents on the Ducks this year. Including their entire defence corps. And they've sucked since winning the Cup. Of course I think he is a bad choice. The problem is that he is still the best GM who was able to take the job. And, of course, every GM for the Leafs I have ever been alive for has sucked as well. Hopefully Burke sucks less than the other candidates for GM.
Honestly Wetcoaster, it seemed like you made a big deal about some trades that really turned out fairly decently. You almost treated Jovanovski as an afterthought in the Bure trade, when he was the centrepiece. Any GM will have a mixed record over a twenty year career, and we all know that Burke is a mouthpiece. I'll judge him once he actually starts to make some trades for us.