Brian Burke Press Conference-Recap

Best part to me was when he said his teams will “have the proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone truculence and belligerence.”

I will break down more later but for now…here is the play by play:

Richard Peddie:
From the start of the search we said we were looking for a long term builder on and off the ice with established track record Someone who was good at Identifying talent can work with the media and the intense scrutiny there is here. We were looking for someone who could serve as President and GM and someone who is a proven winner.
In Brian Burke we have found someone with a stellar track record- winner as executive and nhl executive whalers- canucks and ducks. He has been successful as an attorney as agent and as a player. He is a long term builder who is going to make up competitive for years to come. He is charged with the order to win our 14th cup.
Peddie also took time to thank Cliff Fletcher who has set the table for Brian to build upon and given the Leafs the luxury to conduct search without time constraints. Cliff will remain as a consultant.
Lastly he thanked Gord Kirke.
Brian Burke:
Said what a great pleasure to be here. He then wanted to say a few words about Anaheim. He wanted to properly say goodbye. This presented an opportunity for him and his wife to be in the same time zone as his kids in 11 years. He then thanked everyone in Anaheim especially the owners.
Coming to Toronto is almost like a dream come true. As he has said before it is like the Vatican if you are a catholic; the centre of the hockey universe- most important in hockey on the planet. He Couldn’t be more excited about the job ahead. The maple leafs are one of the crown jewels in sports and an iconic brand world wide. He just can’t put it into words what the feeling is like. He is truly humbled by it- He is also burden by it’s rich history, the job is equally humbling, exciting daunting and exhilarating.
The job is not going to be easy. Cliff made some positive steps. Changing the GM doesn’t change a lot of things – this is going to take time and patience. Changing the GM doesn’t change the roster – or unrealized expectations.
What it does do is allow you to time to turn the page to a clean start.
Burke’s Philosophy is based upon 3 pillars :
1. Entertaining style- justify the price of the ticket win or lose aggressive pursuit of the puck in all three zones, prefer to possess the puck, answering physical challenges; playing a style that allows younger players to develop in fear free environment
2. Financial and fiscal prudence-at the end of the day it is the fans and sponsors money and we try to spend it intelligently – it’s a cornerstone- doesn’t matter if you are profitable or not, you spend money as wisely as we can, its not my money.
3. Community service – not optional you want to play in a great city like Toronto you will give back to the community or we will find you somewhere else to play. Player will be more active then they have ever been before and if you don’t like it you will not play here.
Within those pillars we believe in a top 6 forward group that has high skill level and the bottom six that have plumber mentality, being physical and blocking shots. Same with defense, the top 4 are skilled and the bottom 2 are plumbers. He has great respect for the plumber groups
He believes you build team from net out.
His teams all have the proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone truculence and belligerence .
He is a players gm- players are both the best people and athletes in pro sports
Usually when you take over a team you have to take the coach is there. He couldn’t be happier to take over a team with Ron and his assistants
He and Wislon share same philosophies.
In college Wilson was the star and Burke won the academic award every year.
He believes in giving people(players and staff) an opportunity to prove themselves –
Cliff has a job here as long as he wants one….Will talk to Cliff on the roadtrip.
He has a lot of respect for Joe Nieuendyk, everyone will have chance to show they want to belong and to fit in.
The 1st step is to familiarize himself with the team, you think you know a team and he has years of reports on this team but you don’t know it until they are your team. Burke is Going on the road trip.
For those who think a trade is coming soon they need to now that the NHL Christmas trade freeze kicks on the 19th,. Burke believes that players don’t get traded at Christmas time unless they want too. His freeze goes in on dec 9th….Therefore it is going to be hard to do be in a position to make evaluations and complete a trade before December 9th. He strongly believes that players get holiday time with families…
Second job is to asses the Marlies.
Third he has to spend some time with the scouting staff . He believes their role is to identify character and useful people who can do more then 1 thing well who have tenacity and are coachable high hockey iq…will figure out which scouts can deliver that.
He was then asked what his timeframe to be Stanley cup competitive- He said that in law school he was taught that when you don’t know the answer , answer, it depends. it depends..
He was asked about Mats Sundin- He thinks its’ unfair to criticize him for not picking- He has more respect for a guy who takes his time to decide instead of someone who figures it out while collecting the pay cheque. However, he figures that the :eafs don’t profile as a team he wants to play with – Sundin has $2 less then god already… so it isn’t about the money, Sundin will end up somewhere where he thinks he can win….Toronto doesn’t fit that profile right now.
Was asked about moving up to get Schenn and trading a pick to get Grabovsky. Anyone who criticized moving up to get Schenn looks foolish- He wouldn’t have moved up based on his reports- so all you have to do is applaud because he has been one of the best rookies in the league.… With Grabovsky- he tried hard to get him. Grabovsky has rewarded cliff’s effort with his play cliff deserves credit for both moves.
When he went to get interviewed on LeafsTV the first thing he did was take off his tie, “This is the last time you see me with a tie”…

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