Oh, the NHL

Word today that Toronto GM Brian Burke is after one of the top two picks in the NHL draft. John Tavares is apparently the target, and the Toronto media is already in mid-flight in terms of getting reaction.

Noteworthy blogger Howard Berger spent some time tracking down the top prospect in the draft (the item is here) and the money quote is this one:

“It’s kind of overwehlming — maybe even a bit shocking, to be honest. For you telling me that — if [Burke] said it — I’m obviously excited that teams are interested, and Toronto would be an unbelievable place to play hockey. There’s probably no better city [in the NHL] for support and atmosphere.”

A couple of things. First, if I’m Garth Snow (NYI GM) this is a nasty piece of business–why on earth would a GM be talking publicly about a guy who may be an Islander by 6:30pm tonight (the lottery goes later this evening) and if this does become an issue when signing said player becomes the next step, is there any kind of action the league should be taking?

I’m all for Burke being in Toronto, the more blowhards in one place the better (Vancouver is much less ridiculous these days) and there’s no real issue with him reminding people he traded up for Pronger and the Sedins (making him a genious, of course).

But there’s something about this that could be construed as possible collusion–especially if Tavares’ agent makes it an issue should the Islanders (or another team aside from Toronto) decide to hold onto the pick and take him. I think the NHL should address this issue for future drafts. It makes the NHL look silly.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

29 Responses to "Oh, the NHL"

  1. jon k says:

    Definitely something amiss with what Burke is doing. While tampering applies to players currently under contract or whose rights are owned, the situation is a bit murky because Tavares isn’t any team’s property yet however. But when draft positions are set and players are consensus picks to go in certain spots, there’s an issue.

    I think the league should clarify it’s position on matters involving picks. I don’t necessarily see anything wrong with a team publicly expressing interest in a draft pick, however there is something a bit smelly about expressing an interest in a player after draft positions are set.

    If I’m Garth Snow I would consider filing a complaint against Burke. The funny thing is, Berger getting those comments by Tavares on record might come back to bite Burke in the ass. It’s now provable that the player was aware of Burke’s interest, and if Burke acquires the player through any means other than trade there’s going to be a definite odour to the whole thing.

  2. mc79hockey says:

    I loathe the Leafs as much as the next guy, and Brian Burke more than most, but I have a hard time getting worked up if the NHL’s collusive treatment of young players gets knocked around a bit. If Tavares has the pull to stick it to the NHL like this, good on him.

  3. Art Vandelay says:

    I’m with mc79 on both counts. I hate the Leafs and I hate Burke even more than that, but I loathe the slave trade.

    If I’m the consensus best new recruit in the world at whatever I do, I want to choose where I ply my trade.

    Would love to see Tavares stick it to the Islander or the Lightning or whatever soon-to-fold franchise selects him.

  4. jon k says:

    Yeah because having prospects picking where they want to play would be great for the league. Seeing 50% of the Canadian talent try to go to the Canadiens or Leafs is not my idea of a good idea.

  5. Rod says:

    Art Vandelay said…
    I’m with mc79 on both counts. I hate the Leafs and I hate Burke even more than that, but I loathe the slave trade.
    Huh? OK, I’m in total agreement about the Leafs and Burke. But “slave trade”?

    If I’m the consensus best new recruit in the world at whatever I do, I want to choose where I ply my trade.
    Last I checked, nobody was forcing kids to sign in the NHL against their will. Draft picks holding out like Lindros did isn’t my idea of a good thing. Maybe it’s just me and jon k, but I doubt it.

    It’s not like any draft pick is signed up for life or anything. Three year entry deal. RFA after that–and we know already that’s not a bad payday for top players like Tavares. UFA at 27 (or will be 25 for him?).

    Sorry, unlike Art I can’t get worked up over the plight of Tavares in a supposed slave trade. He’ll be set for life in just a few months. Good on him. Far from a hardship though, even if it’s on the Island for a few years.

  6. PDO says:

    The draft is absolutely necessary for the integrity of the game… I’m with Jon K here.

    Burkie should be fined.

  7. Alice says:

    and if Burke acquires the player through any means other than trade there’s going to be a definite odour to the whole thing.

    Umm, what other means are there? My take on this is simply that Burke has said if there’s a play he’ll take a run at it. It’s up to Snow to put the pick into play or not, and he’d be doing his team a disservice if he neglected to look at what’s on offer. Sounds like he’s in the driver’s seat to me.

  8. Doogie2K says:

    If I’m the consensus best new recruit in the world at whatever I do, I want to choose where I ply my trade. Because the C-form system was totally fair and balanced, amirite?

  9. jon k says:

    Alice:

    Like if Tavares and the Isles hit a snag in negotiations for his first contract after the ELC. It would be even more inflammatory if he signed an offer sheet from TO.

    Obviously players probably suspect there are other teams out there that are interested in their services, but it’s another thing entirely when a GM publicly says so. That’s why we have the tampering rules.

  10. HBomb says:

    So Burke bitches about Lowe talking about Perry as “collusion”, yet he’s talking about Tavares?

    Am I reading this right? And if I am, hypocrisy much?

  11. Kyle says:

    I assume genius is spelled incorrectly on a lark LT, otherwise that would be an ironic error.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Kyle: It is true. As I get older it somehow makes me feel “cool” to include as many words from the urban dictionary as possible. They’re also little pebbles that my kids sometimes pick up on and gives them a chance to question my spelling (since I’m always doing it to them).

    Silly, but still.

  13. relic says:

    seems to me burke is just setting himself up to fail or for an overpay.

    I would think the discussion would start with schenn, and toronto’s first picks this year, next year, ++…

  14. speeds says:

    The draft is absolutely necessary for the integrity of the game… Is it, with the cap?

    Does the league fall apart if you remove the draft and rookie salary cap? I suppose you could keep the term limit on rookie caps, that might be of interest to the teams.

  15. mcgalio says:

    Kyle: It is true. As I get older it somehow makes me feel “cool” to include as many words from the urban dictionary as possible. They’re also little pebbles that my kids sometimes pick up on and gives them a chance to question my spelling (since I’m always doing it to them).

    Silly, but still.

    This is like a menza meeting.

  16. Lowetide says:

    True story: Years ago, my friend Tim responded to an email in which I’d made a terrible error (I don’t recall, but it was huge and hilarious) and made fun of me while cc’ing a bunch of people.

    I was pissed. So, I shot back (reply all!) with “well I guess you can all have fun at your menza meeting.”

    Tim emailed back and said “look, I’m sorry you’re offended. It was really funny and we thought you could take the joke. Our mistake.

    PS, it’s mensa.”

    I could have killed him. Funny, though.

  17. Bluedog says:

    It’d be nice to see Burke wind up with Tavares and a couple of the Isles dead-weight contracts, with Schenn and picks the other way. The guy’s a piece of work.

  18. Chris says:

    Hmm hard to think of guys who have held out against the team that drafted them in recent memory, Lindros and Wheeler are the only two that spring to mind. The Lindros trade worked out pretty good for the Nordiques/Avalance Peter Forsberg + is a heck of a return.

  19. HBomb says:

    Ok, my bad, I used the word “collusion” when the one I should have chose is “tampering”.

    I blame lack of sleep and being on a fully nocturnal schedule for the first time in my 27 years of existence.

  20. iSite says:

    Probably just the first positioning manoeuvre in an upcoming series of passive aggressive procurement moves from the Gigantic Heed.

    Not surprising, it has provided results in the past. Then he sails on and lays claim to “Greatest Guy Ever.”

    “You’ve experienced the Sedins…we gifted you Pronger…and now…brought before you today…we announce the miraculous arrival of the Great John…”

    Bleh.

  21. HBomb says:

    Calling it now – Toronto will acquire Pronger via trade (Anaheim probably getting one year of a nice Kaberle contract in return) AND sign both Sedins as UFA’s this summer.

    Book it.

  22. hunter1909 says:

    We’re all jealous because we don’t have a GM like Burke.

  23. Jeff J says:

    Slave trade?? Gimme a break.

    The NHL sells competition. Without some mechanism to equalize the talent, there is no competition. We’re left with a beer league where all the good ‘ol boys gather on one club and romp to the cup every year.

    Granted, maybe there are other ways to equalize the talent. Anyone have suggestions? Perhaps a salary cap would work in a world where compensation is commensurate with ability and everyone makes perfectly rational decisions in their own financial self interest. Unfortunately, that’s pure fantasy. People aren’t rational. Hockey players especially – see the Hossa signing in Detroit and the Selanne/Kariya team signing in Colorado a few years ago.

    And in the real world the best new recruit in any field almost never gets to choose where they ply their trade.

    Please keep the libertarian woo woo off the hockey blogs.

  24. MikeP says:

    hunter, what, a blowhard who comes into a team on the rise, makes some trades, and then jets out of town when the ship is starting to sink? If Anaheim’s Cup is to his credit, so was their fall this year, and if the team picks it up again next year, it’ll be in spite of his last couple of years at the helm there, not because of them. The less said about the Canucks, the better?

    Wasn’t it Ryan that Burke was steamed at Lowe about, not Perry? Either way, I’m with LT – hypocritical move by Burke, even if it’s not tampering.

    Like Rod said, NHL recruits do get to choose where they play. They have plenty of alternatives; KHL if they want Monopoly money, I’m sure every single AHL team would kill to have Tavares under contract, there’s the ECHL, Senior Leagues… if he wants to play with the best in the world though, here are the terms kid, sign there.

    I have a hard time feeling bad for a first round draft pick having to play 3 years or less for a particular city on an entry level contract paying more in a year than most make in a decade.

    The CHL and NCAA, on the other hand… yeah.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Well collusion would be between Burke and the agent for Tavares. We have no evidence of same, but Tim Raines didn’t have any either when no one was signing him that summer and mlb paid full price when someone talked.

    It smells bad, it hurts the game’s integrity. I know it has little of it, but does that mean the NHL shouldn’t try?

  26. rickibear says:

    //PS, it’s mensa.”//

    LT: Joined in first year of university genetics, physics and chemistry triple major. Gave into the Peer pressure of med student freinds. Snob group really.

    The triple nine society is even worse.

    Did not try for mega society.

    Most of the people remind me of the far side cartoon of the young child pushing hard on school for intelligent children door labelled pull.

    Though met a young lady who paid for her Bachelors in genetics and Law degree by working at Hooters. She is still a weekend driveby.

    The point to this. Psychometric approach you end up with alot of guys pushing the pull door.

    The triarchic approach to intelligence is the way to go. Analytical, Creative, Practical sub groups make up the structure. Intelligence in real situation.

    That is why I love the oilogosphere. The thought and analysis clearly takes on a Triarchic approach. It advances game stat theory. The Nat Enquirer side of Blogosphere not so much.

    Off to the divorce Lawyers. Another custody battle.

  27. Showerhead says:

    Meh, I find it hard to see the fault. The top picks of a draft are a very hyped commodity and you definitely can’t blame a guy for making the pitch.

    Can you blame him for saying he wants Tavares? I hardly think so. Part of building the culture of the game needs to come from celebrating individual players. For years now, the Tavares and Hedman hype machines have been piloted by hockeyfolk and it’s only natural that Tavares’ name would come up in the discussion.

    You wouldn’t hear a fuss if some team in the NBA had tried to trade up and quotes abounded saying they would take Lebron James with that pick.

    Incidentally enough, the only mistake I see is by Tavares himself. I think as a young guy you want to make sure you’re heard saying nice things about teams that are interested in you but I think he would have been better served with a TML compliment PLUS a reassurance that he thinks great thinks about the Isles and Lightning as well… a “I just want to play in the NHL and I’m excited about the great organizations they’re building in Tampa and in New York” sort of thing.

  28. Smarmy Boss says:

    Meh 30 teams would be happy with Tavares. Its just a matter of a shitty media cramming Leafs crap down our throats.

  29. Dennis says:

    Burke is a funny fucker, though.

    His rant about players thinking they’re special because they’re on the 2nd PP unit was killing me.

    I hate the guy but he does have a sharp wit and I have to leave a little room for a fellow who keeps putting the whip to Vish Throttler.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca