Time Out

This is Brian Burke about 30 years ago. He is in the uniform of the Maine Mariners of the AHL. They were a Philadelphia farm team and in his one full season in the minors Burke’s team won the championship (Calder Cup) that Don Cherry won routinely in the 1960s.

Pete Peeters was on that team, as was John Paddock and Terry Murray. They didn’t have any impact forwards, although Al Hill was their leading scorer and he played some in the NHL.

Burke has been very outspoken since Kevin Lowe’s offer sheet, saying things that stand out even in an industry (NHL) used to rants that can rival the WWE.

WHY would he do it? Is he crazy? Does he think Kevin Lowe getting hurt feelings will inspire other GMs to pursue the next crop of ANA rfa’s with less enthusiasm?

Well, he’s not crazy. Brian Burke is a smart, calculating guy. After graduating Providence College in spring 1977 (age: 21, 6-1, 195) he played one full AHL season (65gp, 3-5-8, 60pims) and the playoffs (8gp, 0-0-0, they didn’t dress him for four of the 12 games on the way to the Calder Cup) and then retired.

From that spot, summer 1978, Burke:

  1. Left hockey to get his law degree at Harvard
  2. Specialized in representing Pro players for six years as a lawyer
  3. Named VP and Director of Hockey Operations for Vancouver Canucks, June 2, 1987
  4. Joined Hartford as GM 1992-93
  5. Named President and General Manager of Vancouver Canucks, June 22, 1998…served into 2003-04
  6. Named General Manager of Anaheim 2005

And spent some time with the NHL. This is an exceptional resume. Lawyers (like any industry) come in all kinds of shapes and sizes but when Brian Burke’s name is brought up among Providence grads who rolled through town at the same time it’s fairly certain that he didn’t finish last in the race for accomplishments among the graduating class in 1977.

I think Brian Burke is ranting like Randy Poffo because there are no alternatives. He’s a smart enough guy to know that this summer’s UFA signings by his club will impact their ability to sign their own rfa’s and future ufa’s. As much as he may have planned for the Vanek and Penner offer sheets, fretting over something and having it bite you in the ass are two different things.

Hey, even smart people have a temper.

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8 Responses to "Time Out"

  1. NBOilerFan says:

    So basically you are saying… “that even smart guys do stupid things”.

    I just keep hoping against odds that the Ducks season somehow makes Burke look pretty foolish for for his “run his team into the sewer” comments.

    Once again… there is always hope.

  2. Jason says:

    Well they just got run 4 zip in Ohio…

  3. the weaz says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Burkie look so happy. That photo may actually be the last time he smiled… and meanted it. I wonder what he was thinking.

  4. namflashback says:

    I think Burke is trying to make it personal to try to turn attention away from the “systemic” change that the new CBA and the RFA sheet introduce.

    An increase in RFA salaries will mean teams need to make ‘the call’ on a player at an earlier age. Which also means you need to get them playing younger.

    The ability to take advantage of a player just got harder for a GM to do.
    And Burke still has Getzlaf and Perry to re-sign. So he can’t be the guy to put the vengeance OS in. He’s either trying to get others to target Lowe or trying to pull the target off his own RFA’s.

  5. Lowetide says:

    namflashback: I guess so, and maybe other GMs will think about a Stoll or Pitkanen. But bottom line is that if they do offer Stoll a contract and it benefits their team, it’s all about business. Burke’s making it personal is just fury imo, unless he doesn’t want anyone to remember he signed Bertuzzi for money he’ll need soon for Getzlaf.

    But even that’s a stretch I think.

  6. Andy Grabia says:

    Hey, even smart people have a temper.

    Thanks, LT. ;)

  7. Santa Merda says:

    He paid Kunitz 0.1 million less than Penner was paid, even though Kunitz had 5 points less IIRC. And he calls the Penner signing stupid?

  8. oilerdiehard says:

    Just up on TSN the Oil have signed Kevin Lowe to a multi-year contract extension.

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