Brian Burke a Flame?

With the annual prospects tourney about to being in Penticton, BC, rumours are swirling that the Calgary Flames are about to hire Brian Burke. The position is unknown but it’s not hard to guess.

The move would likely bump Ken King into a higher position overseeing the business aspect of the Calgary Flames, encompassing the WHL’s Hitmen, the NLL’s Roughnecks, the CFL’s Stampeders and the new Saddledome, which is most likely delayed due to the $100 million they had to spend refurbishing the current Dome after the flood destroyed everything up to the 9th row.

Burke’s presumable hire would be as the President of Hockey Operations, which would support GM Jay Feaster in his role and help oversee the day-to-day operations of the club.  However, you can’t help but think that this sets up the eventual canning of Feaster and Burke’s eventual hire as the GM of the Flames, but let’s not put the cart before the horse more than it already is.

In terms of the Flames filling a hole in upper management, this is a move a lot of people saw coming regardless of the person who is filling it.

Back in June the Flames and league disciplinary Brendan Shanahan were holding hands on the verge of consummating a marriage when Shanny pulled chute with a polite “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Now, it seems the Flames are trying Plan B, as in double B, as in Brian Burke – the most unkempt man in hockey upper management.

Currently a scout with the Anaheim Ducks, it’s no secret that Burke wants another kick at the can after doing all he could to pick the Toronto Maple Leafs off the carpet for the better part of five seasons. That was until he was unceremoniously kicked to the curb moments after the lockout ended. The Leafs went on to play in the playoffs for the first time since the ice age.

Was Burke to thank for that? Maybe. Or was his presence as a brooding cynical prick weighing so heavily on the team that when he left, the whole organization loosened up like his tie? Possibly.

Burke’s history suggests that he partially knows what he is doing when it comes to forming a winning hockey team. Partially being the key word.

Yes, he won the cup with the Ducks in 2007. However, many will say that former Ducks GM and current Senators GM Bryan Murray set the table for Burke’s success prior to leaving after the 2004 season.

Prior to that, Burke probably pulled off his best move as a hockey executive in drafting both Daniel and Henrik Sedin. This move formed the core of the Canucks for the next decade that has been highly competitive and fell one win short of the 2011 Stanley Cup.

In Toronto however he made one controversial move that has plagued him ever since in trading two first round picks and a second round pick for Phil Kessel. In saying that, Kessel has played quite well these past couple seasons for the putting up more than a point per game over that timeframe. However, Boston was able to select Tyler Seguin second overall and Dougie Hamilton the year later. Seguin fell out of favour with the Bruins being the number three center behind David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron, but will, by my estimation blossom in Dallas as their top centerman.  With Seguin and Hamilton the Leafs would have better off in the long run and more stable at both ends of the ice.

I’m not thrilled with this news as I’ve never really been a fan of Burke’s work. Maybe, that’s because I’m a fan of the Flames and he’s been on the opposing side of things for far too long.

He was able to dupe Darryl Sutter into giving him Phaneuf for a bag of pucks, when Dion was clearly worth at least two or maybe even three bags of pucks in my estimation. 

So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.

At any rate, with Burke a member of the Calgary Flames, the Calgary media is in for a real treat.  And just when the years of Sutter were nearly comes the loose tie and beet red face of Brian Burke.


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