More on Brian Burke- Prime Time Sports Jumped The Shark?

Don’t you love the talking heads complaining about the crazyness the Burke story has taken on? I mean clealy it is started by you and I, the fans. We are ones who talk about it ad nauseaum, who are the ones who write about nothing but??? The same “morons” who are complaining.

Damien’s blog today about the subject may be the best piece he has ever written. No seriously, it is that good:

“One, Burke is the best man available to do the job. If not the best man period, he is available. Hockey isn’t like the real world in which you can just go out and hire who you want. It’s an industry filled with tampering rules, and one in which the best executives in the game shake loose only occasionally, and never in large numbers.”

B I N G O !!!!!! Give the man a prize.

“Two, there’s no guarantee Burke will be successful in Toronto, at least if you define success as winning a Stanley Cup, not putting together three victories in a row in mid-December. The same would be the case if it was Ken Holland or Doug Wilson or Jim Rutherford getting the job. No guarantees of ultimate success. Burke might not be able to do any more with the Leafs than he was able to do with the Vancouver Canucks, which was assemble a good team that wilted in the spring. But let’s get one thing straight. He was very much the architect of the championship won in Anaheim.”

As I wrote the other day (sorry for the delay in writing again, that one took a little bit out of me and I am off to LA tomorrow for a week), this is not who may be available in May or June, it’s about who is available now. Damien is bang on, getting the greatest man alive doesn’t guarantee you anything. You have to hire the best guy available when they become available. The only sure thing right now is that Burke is available.

“It drives me nuts the number of people who have emailed and, in effect, stripped Burke of any credit for the Ducks winning it all. That argument suggests that Bryan Murray did all the legwork, that Jean-Sebastien Giguere was already there and both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry had already been drafted.It is an argument for utter morons.”

Did you hear that Mike Hogan??!! M O R O N S….How can you ask what has this guy ever done and think you will have any respect in the marketplace.

“Its the same story everywhere. So while you might not endorse the choice of Burke as the next Leaf GM or like his preferred style of hockey, its just silly to try and rob him of any credit for what was done in Anaheim.Can he win in Toronto? Don’t know. The guess here is he can give this team a vibrant identity and make it into a solid playoff team in three years. Beyond that, who knows? He’ll get his shot, and if he can’t do it in five or six or seven years, somebody else will get their shot.”

The reality is nothing the Leafs ever do really is going to be blessed by more then 51% of the folks out there. Hell I can assure you if they ever win the cup, 49% of the people out there will find something to bitch about. That is fine, we have come to expect it. Trashing Burke is okay too, just do it for the right reasons!

That was Damien the Blogger, whom i like a hell of a lot more then Damien the Writer (sound familiar Richard Griffin) most of the time… Damien the Writer has some interesting predictions in today’s star too:

“Burke doesn’t hesitate and he doesn’t observe niceties. He’s ready to go and start remodelling the Leafs starting, oh, today, although it’s unlikely contract talks will start until Monday or Tuesday and, anyway, Burke’s got his 4-year-old daughter’s soccer team to coach this morning in Orange County, Calif. The Leafs, with Richard Peddie and Gord Kirke stickhandling the process, will likely make an opening offer early next week, but there’s no interview process here. They know him. He knows them. The Bryan Colangelo contract offers a usable blueprint.It shouldn’t take long.”

Seriously folks, others seem to think this is going to more difficult then separating conjoining twins. Burke either wants to be here or he doesn’t. The leafs either want him or they don’t. If the money being asked is reasonable a deal gets done. If not it doesn’t. They aren’t going to ask him to undergo testing or anything like that. They know what they are getting. Rest assured Burke has called Cliff to feel out the situation as well, and the same can be said of Ron Wilson.

“Then the renovation process will begin.For starters, Burke doesn’t despise small players, but he doesn’t want many of ’em. Maybe one or two. Maybe Mikhail Grabovski can stick around, but not Grabovski and Alex Steen and Jiri Tlusty and Jason Blake and Matt Stajan. He doesn’t terribly mind Europeans. Right now, the Ducks have two, Teemu Selanne and Sammy Pahlsson. The Leafs have 11 Europeans, only two of whom, Niklas Hagman and Jonas Frogren, really fit into Burke’s gritty ideal of an NHL player. The Leafs have for years preferred to act judiciously and only after careful consideration, terrified to make a mistake. They would rather hang on to a player for too long than make a risky swap. Burke, by contrast, acts impul- sively and sometimes emotionally. He knows the enormous value of high picks, having swung deals to select Pronger one year and both Sedins in another draft with Vancouver. He’ll love Luke Schenn. But he’ll want something high again next June, even if he has to trade to get it. The guess is once he takes over, this thing’s going to go 100 miles an hour. He hasn’t actually visited with Ron Wilson since the wedding of Wilson’s daughter in July, but they shouldn’t have much trouble co-ordinating a mutually acceptable design.”

Cliff has said all along his job is to clear the deck. To give his replacement a head start. I think everyone agrees that he has done that. That doesn’t mean (as I have written before) that more then a couple of the current pieces are going to be part of the eventual finishing product. There are guys we as fans have come to like to watch, but there is no love affair with any of them yet. Show us a plan and we will buy in (at least the 51% of us).

“What will take some care is the way in which Cliff Fletcher is moved aside. People will want to see Fletcher treated right.That said, Burke will assemble his own management team and it’ll probably include Dave Nonis.There’s no reason for this all not to happen very quickly. Burke’s hoping to go to Vancouver next week for a few days of R & R, but he might not get the chance.”

Show me a person who doesn’t want Cliff treated right and I will show you a person I would rather not know. The guy did all the dirty work and has done what he was hired to do. Why wouldn’t you do him right. I am not sure why you wouldn’t ever do someone right, but that’s another discussion.

Meanwhile, as you know (both of you) I always say that I listen to McCowan and prime time sports because of the amazing guests. It is not that McCowan is the greatest, or the smartest, I always am curious what his show will be about and how quickly he will get the news maker of the day on his show. Let me be the first to admit, he’s slipping. I have heard more about Boots Dibaggio the failed minority owner of the Nashville Predators on PTS in the last couple of months then any other story. It seems that is all they talk about. I agree it was a story, but man, move on. Then, the Brian Burke story breaks and Burke isn’t on PTS, he is on the lunch show with a fill in host???? Huh????? When Pat Quinn ran the Leafs he refused to go on with McCowan, is this something to be expected of Burke? I have no clue, but I did wonder that aloud in the mini the other night. I can tell you that I am getting more interested in the Brady /Watters how every night as their show improves, while PTS seems to be slipping.

Enjoy the game, more later.

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November 16, 2008 12:03 pm

I agree on the Dibaggio thing…though I still like McCowan’s show…aside from Kelly, the round table is usually decent. As for the Waters/Brady show – I like it too…especially on Friday’s when Wilson is on….

I think your next target has to be the Hot Stove panel…awful…can’t stand Milbury or Strachan….CBC should be able to do better for such a high profile slot….

Guy Trottier
Guy Trottier
November 16, 2008 4:30 pm

Strachan was a study in Unproffesionalism on this past Hot Stove,not to mention petty.I was shocked that McLean allowed him to make such idiotic points on the Burke issue without being taken to task by him or anyone else on the panal.He was far too personal.

November 17, 2008 10:34 am

it is pretty clear to most listeners that McCown has an axe to grind with Bettman and the Nashville story is his way of sticking it to the Commish.

that being said, it is a pretty interesting story, especially in relation to the Balsille failed bid to take over the Preds. If it is true that Bettman pushed this guy in to block the Balsille bid then that is a pretty large abuse of power and one which has cost the league a bunch.

McCown has been coasting for years now on his reputation. The show is basically an old-boys club where they chat about themselves and make inside jokes. This is extremely dull radio. Kelley’s presence on the radio is mystifying, and prompts me to change channels most of the time.

More Brunt, more Friedman, fewer Sportsnet jocks, more investigative journalism. As was pointed out, we listen b/c PTS gets good guests and follows interesting stories, not to hear these old men talk about their golf games.

November 17, 2008 11:35 am

The thing I find most maddening about Cox is his inconsistency.

It’s bizarre that the this guy can write about the complicated process, tampering rules and timing involved in a hiring of the magnitude of President and GM of MLSE; yet he filed pantload after pantload this summer carping that the Leafs needed to get the hiring done between the SC finals and the draft. For anyone keeping score, that’s a three week window during which the organization also had to tackle buy-outs, trades and their draft plans. Never mind issues of tampering and identifying which executives were even on the market.

Maybe someone got some sock puppets and a chalk board and explained tampering to Cox, that’s the only way I can figure out how he can get it one day and be such a moron a blog post or two later.

Speaking of morons (hey, that’s me!) put me down as one guy who think it’s more than fair to take a balanced approach to Burke’s role in the Ducks cup win.

Sure, anyone who strips him of any/all credit is being grossly unfair, but before anyone starts collecting funds for a statue of the man, you have to admit the guy walked into a fantastic situation. He took over a franchise that was one year removed from a Stanley Cup finals appearance that had a tremendous core in place (Penner, Pahlsson, Kunitz, Perry, Getzlaf, Gigeure, MacDonald, Rob Niedermayer, etc.).

He gets the thumbs up from me for landing Pronger and shedding that Fedorov contract, but on the flip side Selanne fell in his lap and Scott Niedermayer only signed because he wanted to play with his brother.

I’d just like to see some discussion that takes the good with the bad and recognizes Burke’s successes (Cup Win, Pronger and Federov deals) and failures (cap issues, horrific draft record, one series win in seven years with the Canucks, and the belief that a goalie named Cloutier could get it done).

November 17, 2008 12:37 pm

You mean you want balance???? What are you nuts???
We all have to understand that none of these guys is without their biases and prejudices either.

Cox has been all over Cliff for years, who knows why, but rest assured Cliff did or didn’t do something to Cox at some point.

The other side is that this media thing has become a business, these guys all know how to stir the pot and generate interest. They know that the fans are suckers and that if they write something controversial we will eat it up and generate lots of pageviews which =$.

McCowan is notorious for saying stuff to create controversy, I am not sure he is that much smarter then Cox or Simmos either.

November 17, 2008 2:24 pm

This is why I don’t read the sports pages anymore.

If I wanted incoherent rambling for the sake of stirring the pot, I’d ask my mother in law for her take on the Leafs. (BTW, she hates that Pat Burns is coaching the Leafs. She’s also angry that Dan Maloney hasn’t been given the C in Sundin’s absence. He always stood up for that nice Ron Ellis.)

November 17, 2008 3:03 pm

Did she like Paul Harris or Mike Palmateer?

November 20, 2008 2:42 am

She better prefer Palmateer, I idolized that guy when I was a kid…

November 20, 2008 12:06 pm

i think i may have slept in my old #29 jersey 🙂

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