Thursday, November 27, 2008

Leafs and Burke Destined To Be Together

Toronto Maple Leafs fans should be thankful today that the one man who has been hyped up to be the next great GM to turn things around for the once proud franchise has finally reached a deal, ending the speculation and the worries.

Burke first had to break free of the Anaheim contract and pay lip service to the Ducks team when speculation turned up the heat. Brian Burke, a "real man's man", built a reputation of fixing franchises his way by brokering trades. However, the Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment group, insist on being a "hands-on" corporate entity often stirring the pot for previous GMs in Toronto. MLSE would have veto power.
The deal is worth about $18 million - the rest of this season and the next five. Also, Burke will report only to the CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, which is currently held by Richard Peddie.

An official announcement is expected Saturday.
Brian Burke, a GM credited for 2 successful NHL franchises (Ottawa & Anaheim), was thought of and speculated as the next potential General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Being careful not to attract any collusion or contract tampering charges, Burke's family made it convenient for him to accept a Toronto job.
His arrival in Toronto will be greeted by a few familiar faces. Burke and coach Ron Wilson are former roommates at Providence College while he and player personnel director Al Coates worked together with the Ducks.
Getting one of the top names on their list, the Toronto Maple Leafs have looked at the hiring as a resurgence of their "traditional globally identifiable franchise brand" and expect to become relevant in the NHL once again.

[Via: Sportsnet.ca]
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