Brian Burke On With Armstrong And MacLean

As promised, I listened to Brian Burke’s interview with Doug MacLean and Jack Armstrong from today’s Gameplan show. Burke clearly came on with an attitude towards MacLean. It was apparent from “hello”. Burke made several references to Doug’s penchant for interrupting. I have no idea where this attitude towards Richie Rich comes from, but it was clearly there. The fellas did talk playoffs and they did talk about what great shape the league is in with a myriad of young players leading the various scoring races.

Of course, the topic turned to the Maple Leafs/Lighning rumours:

Burke couldn’t have been clearer: The rumored ask by Tampa (Kaberle, Schenn and the 7th pick for number #2) has never been communicated to Burke, the “offer” is nebulous to Burke….

Maclean said “I know for a fact it was stated” that is MacLean knows for fact that someone on Tampa said that in order to get the number two pick, the Leafs will have to pay the aforementioned price.

Burke said ” That “offer” wasn’t stated to him.

MacLean said that he didn’t know if the “offer” was said to Burke or not, only that it was said (which is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard). MacLean said that the statement was made in retaliation to the “Friedman Rumour” (Toronto Trades the #7 pick to Tampa for the #2 pick and Ryan Malone and his $17m contract).

Burke said that this line of thought (that it was a retaliatory statement) would mean that Leafs would want the first part (the Malone deal)- why, Burke asks would be the Leafs be interested in that deal? It isn’t worth moving up 5 places to take on that much salary and that isn’t anything against Ryan Malone… Therefore there is no reason to float a retaliatory rumor….when the first part isn’t true.

Burke also said that Luke Schenn is not going anywhere. He believes Schenn will be a # 2 or # 3 defencemen, best #3 in the league- won’t put up big numbers, probably be the captain. He was careful to explain that he didn’t mean he would be a #2 or #3 on the Leafs defence. Rather that Schenn would be a top #2 or #3 defenceman in the league.

Burke was asked about the upcoming draft and drafting at 7, to which he responded that the Leafs are prepared to draft at 7- will try to move up, if can’t will draft someone good who won’t play right away.

Burke was asked if he believes in drafting for position or the best player available. He said that he believes you take the best player on the board at the time you draft. If his team has a bunch of centers, and the best player on the board at the time his team is to draft is a center, then he would take another center. Burke believes you deal with roster through trades and free agency.

Lastly Burke was asked about the market july 1 to sign and make trades. Burke said that the world economic financial crises had an immediate impact on baseball players bottom line. The question is how it will be felt in hockey. Owners, Burke suspects will be telling managers to be cautious. ( I wonder, by the way if his owners whom he just met with advised him to be cautious).

You can listen to the interview here.


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