Saturday, July 28, 2007

The end of a friend

Of all the GMs in the league the one Lowe is probably closest to is Burke. They talk almost daily. I find it difficult to believe that there wouldn't be conversation, lots of conversation, before this happened.
"I was not notified of this until an agent faxed it into us. I thought Kevin would have called me and told me it was coming. I thought that was gutless."
"I think it's an act of desperation by a general manager who is fighting to keep his job."
Burkie then threw some letter blocks and went to lie down in the corner with his blankey. He didn't like losing Pin the Tail on the Donkey to Kevin. His face red, he said, "I don't wanna play with you anymore!"

Kevin burst into tears. He was still sad about Smytty moving away.

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31 Comments:

At 1:20 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous baroque said...

Burke doesn't strike me as the kind to quietly lie down with his blankie when upset. I think he would respond more like my nephew--throw the blocks, then slam a door and headbutt his Mom's Rottweiller.

(My nephew is just past two years old, so that makes perfect sense for him to behave that way.)

 
At 2:08 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put James. Maybe now people understand why Burke was fired in Vancouver. With Burke you either have to agree with him, or you become an enemy of his - there is no middle ground for friendly disagreement.

While Burke was able to get away with this in his dealings with the media - often phoning newspaper editors and radio owners demanding that reporters or talk show hosts who disagreed with him be fired - when he started to behave the same way with the Canuck's ownership he quickly found himself in the unemployment lines.

 
At 2:12 PM, July 28, 2007, Blogger McLea said...

when he started to behave the same way with the Canuck's ownership he quickly found himself in the unemployment lines.

And then he went and won a Stanley Cup in Anaheim. What an incompetent jerk.

Brian Burke 1
Vancouver Canucks 0

Scoreboard.

 
At 2:29 PM, July 28, 2007, Blogger Tyler said...

Yeah, that was some great work that Burke did, drafting Getzlaf, Penner, Giguere, Perry and McDonald. The way that he talked Kevin Lowe into moving Chris Pronger too...just brilliant. Not in any way a huge benficiary of circumstance.

 
At 2:52 PM, July 28, 2007, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I'm very surprised he and Lowe didn't talk first, because my understanding was that they were close. And his point about Lowe trying to save his hide is dead-on. But let's be honest: Burke wouldn't bat an eye in f**king another manager over. And then he'd snap back at anyone who took it personally. I personally think the guy is a great GM, but he's done nothing here but solidify his reputation as a world-class a**hole.

 
At 3:12 PM, July 28, 2007, Blogger McLea said...

The way that he talked Kevin Lowe into moving Chris Pronger too...just brilliant

People like you drive me absolutely bananas. There were 28 other teams that could have gotten Pronger but didn't. Burke was presented with an opportunity and he took full advantage of it. 28 other GMs were given the exact same opportunity and didn't.

When Burke arrived in Anaheim, assholes like you weren't saying that the Ducks were destined to win the Stanley Cup. But now that Burke has constructed a winner in a very short period of time, you dicks don't want to give him any credit. Sure the cupboard was full when he got there, but it's a huge leap from "talented team with lots of potential" to "Stanley Cup Champions" don't you think?

 
At 3:48 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a Sharks fan, I can back up first hand that being a "talented team with lots of potential" has no correspondence to winning Lord Stanley's cup.

 
At 3:50 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

"People like you drive me bananas"..."assholes like you"..."you dicks don't want to give him any credit"

Come on Burkie, stop using Mclea as a pseudonym when you post. Don't be classless and gutless. Stand up like a man and use your real name.

 
At 3:52 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous snafu said...

Burke did make some astute moves, but one should qualify the Pronger comment. How many teams would have loved to bid on Pronger, but were constrained by the cap? In the end, Lowe decided 'which' deal was acceptable as well, and if this were public knowledge, we might have a few people wondering if he took the best deal.

Secondly, Burke did benefit from the fact that he had cap space due to all the RFA's on that roster. He did inherit a lot of young talent, most of them still on entry-level contracts. Guiguere's deal was also a carryover from the pre-cap days. I'll give him credit for making some very shrewd moves, but he also had a pretty nice hand dealt to him in Anaheim.

 
At 4:33 PM, July 28, 2007, Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I apologize in advance for being off topic, but has it occurred to anyone else that McLea is Grabia's straw man? I mean this stuff just can't be real. Can it?

 
At 5:43 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever tried to suggest Burke was the benefactor of circumstance in Anaheim is a complete idiot, who knows nothing about hockey, or the state of the Ducks team pre and post Burke.

I'm not interested in the handful of mentioned players who were drafted by Murray. Nobody can say that Burke wouldn't have drafted those guys anyway.

Look down Anaheim's roster. Burke managed not only to dump Fedorov to create some cap space, but got his #3 D-man (Beauchemin) in the bargain doing it. He aggressively courted Scott Niedermayer, getting him to sign for less money, because he knew he wanted to sign with Rob - who he was sure to ink as part of the deal.

In fact, Burke was responsible for getting EVERY SINGLE defenseman on the team. O'Donnell (another Canadian, by the way, as all D-men were on this team this past season) was acquired in summer, 2006. DiPenta, free-agent signing.

Can't forget Pronger - Burke added an MVP D-man by subtracting only one roster player, and took home the Cup. A masterwork of horsetrading.

Forwards - Selanne - he correctly recognized the Flash still had gas in the tank and got him from the bargain bin to become his top-line winger. How many other teams had that foresight? None.

Chris Kunitz, a waiver claim, for fuck's sake.

Marchant, Moen, other notable Burke pickups.

And on, and on. Murray had nothing to do with this Cup win. Anybody who says otherwise are whining Senator fans.

 
At 6:14 PM, July 28, 2007, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I apologize in advance for being off topic, but has it occurred to anyone else that McLea is Grabia's straw man?

I've used to think that Mclea was actually Tyler Dellow, and that he had some weird personality disorder. Sort of a Harvey Dent thing. But I've read Mclea's blog, and there is no way it can be the same guy.

 
At 6:57 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Rod said...

Hey anonymous Burke fanboy...giving Burkie credit for Beauchemin is like crediting ice cream for the cold temperature in your freezer.

Burke said he had no idea who Beauchemin was, or what type of player he was. Burke says it was all Bob Murray, who apparently insisted Beauchemin be included in the deal.

BTW, scroll past the Beauchemin details in that conference call transcript for a question about Penner. Tell me again he won't match Penner...

 
At 8:22 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Darcy said...

"Whining Senators fans", whatever are you talking about?

 
At 8:22 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Burke can get Snoop Dogg to find some of his "peeps" to settle the score with that Cracker Lowe.

 
At 8:39 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burke is such a spineless pussy, some time ago he had his wife call the Team 1040 to plead with Pratt and Taylor about how unfair the media treated him. The same Pratt that Burke tried to get fired because he had the temerity to question Burke's moves. Then he goes on the morning show and when questioned about the Bertuzzi overpay, says he doesn't have to justify anything to a radio station he doesn't listen to.
I can see a guy being a world-class dickhead when he's scrapping to win and prove his genius, but geez, he just won a cup and this weekend was being inducted into the All World Asshole Hall of Fame (or something. He may or may not be mostly responsible for ANA's cup win, but there's no doubting he's the biggest jerkoff in hockey since Sather was considered a genius.

 
At 8:46 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Burkie let's Penner go and next July offers Joni Pitkanen 50M to replace Niedermayer?
After three seasons in NHL Pitkanen has outscored both Niedermayer and Pronger so money will be wisely spent.
And Lowe's offer to Penner taken care of.

 
At 8:54 PM, July 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burke is a tough cookie in the media and boardrooms but calling Kevin Lowe gutless is beyond me.
Last time I checked Lowe has played some games in the NHL. Played against the best and the toughest players in the world when Burke was in law school.
I never went to law school so I don't know how tough you have to be there but I still believe you need more "guts" playing the game than talking about it.

 
At 9:16 PM, July 28, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

The way that he talked Kevin Lowe into moving Chris Pronger too...just brilliant

People like you drive me absolutely bananas. There were 28 other teams that could have gotten


I doubt Pronger was open to signing with those other 28 teams. Remember why he left Edmonton? I bet he was most interested in Anaheim given their possibility of being a cup contender. Other options? the Kings, the Rangers... Maybe the Leafs. Pronger's wife wasn't going to go to Minnesota or Columbus, no way.

It's all speculation, but I would put money on that being closer to the truth.

 
At 11:33 PM, July 28, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Forwards - Selanne - he correctly recognized the Flash still had gas in the tank and got him from the bargain bin to become his top-line winger. How many other teams had that foresight? None.

I would assign this more to "luck" than even Beauchemin. Really, Burke recognized that there was a popular former Duck willing to fit in at a million bucks--the 90 points I don't think was foreseen by anybody.

 
At 10:09 AM, July 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Burkie was BFF with Nonis? He's also BFF with Lowe? Dude is seriously sleeping around...

 
At 12:15 PM, July 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I would assign this more to "luck" than even Beauchemin. Really, Burke recognized that there was a popular former Duck willing to fit in at a million bucks--the 90 points I don't think was foreseen by anybody."

Ha, the second "luck" comment I see regarding Burke.

When you're smart enough like Burke is, you put yourself into position to get "lucky". I can't remember how many "lucky" plays I saw Gretzky make. Fluke passes or shots that ended up in the net. Gretzky put himself into the best possible position and made his own luck.

Just like Burke. Beauchemin and Selanne aren't lottery tickets Burke bumbled upon. "Ho-hum, I'm totally incompetent! Perhaps things shall work out for me one day, fiddle-dee-dee!" Burke made his own luck.

Also, I noticed for all the other players that were pointed out above, ones Burke had the singular vision to select, were ignored. So Burke fluked out on Selanne - did he fluke out on all those others too?

The answer: not a chance.

Luck. Ha! I laughed so hard when I saw that, I squeezed a small turd into my pyjamas.

I guess "bad luck" has kept the Leafs from winning Cups all these years, hmmm? Horrible strikes of misfortune gunning down an otherwise TOTALLY DESERVING hockey team, right fellas?

That guy above who said that anybody says otherwise is an idiot is 100% correct: you are idiots for suggesting he got lucky. Burke knew what he was doing, hands down, and end of story. So stfu about your silly links on Beauchemin or anyone else.

Burke has the Cup to prove it. How many does Murray, Ferguson, or any of you clowns have? That's what I thought.

 
At 12:21 PM, July 29, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

This really is pathetic on the part of Burke, who fairly obviously is a good (though I won't go so far as to say great) GM, but a really crappy human being. Kevin Lowe is his competitor, as well as being as friend. When he signs Penner to an offer sheet, he is acting as the Oilers' GM; giving Burke a friendly heads up would be an act of dereliction of duty for his job. Signing Penner may not have been a smart move on Lowe's part, but he shouldn't be giving Burke warning.

You often hear players talk about what it's like to be facing a good friend on another team. Brian Burke would expect the players whose checks he's signing to take a friend hard into the boards if it helps his team win. Well, it just happened to him.

Next time, Brian, don't skate with your head down.

 
At 1:26 PM, July 29, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Luck. Ha! I laughed so hard when I saw that, I squeezed a small turd into my pyjamas.

Relax, Anonymous (12:15 version). There certainly is an element of luck with every cup championship builder, even with Burke. To suggest otherwise is bordering on idiocy.

If there wasn't luck involved, then why hasn't Burke won a cup every year?

 
At 1:29 PM, July 29, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Burke said he had no idea who Beauchemin was, or what type of player he was. Burke says it was all Bob Murray, who apparently insisted Beauchemin be included in the deal.

It's a good thing Burke hired Bob Murray.

My what a weird tangent this thread has gone on. Carry on.

 
At 1:29 PM, July 29, 2007, Blogger mc79hockey said...

Also, I noticed for all the other players that were pointed out above, ones Burke had the singular vision to select, were ignored. So Burke fluked out on Selanne - did he fluke out on all those others too?

What players on the Cup team did Burke have the singular vision to select?

 
At 3:48 PM, July 29, 2007, Blogger McLea said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:05 PM, July 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Signing Penner may not have been a smart move on Lowe's part, but he shouldn't be giving Burke warning.

I thought that he would give him warning of the announcement, not necessarily the signing.

- desdemona

 
At 7:42 PM, July 29, 2007, Blogger allan said...

Nick said:

I doubt Pronger was open to signing with those other 28 teams.


Pronger was already signed for 4 more years.

 
At 8:08 PM, July 29, 2007, Anonymous Vin said...

Burke was horrible as GM in Hartford, then abandoned the Whale for NHL office, where he also sucked - if Burke had his way, elbows to the head would be legal as "good, hard nosed hockey." Then he left the NHL office for the Canucks, where he did nothing of note - then to Anaheim. Here, he got lucky with Niedermeyer (who would not have signed if his brother wasn't there), was gifted with Pronger (Lowe didn't go to other teams a'la Mike O'Connell/Joe Thornton). He is a crybaby, Harry Sinden-type with a larger purse. Winning the Stanley Cup is the worst thing to happen to us, because he will continue to get GM jobs like Mike Keenan gets coaching gigs, even though they're both two of the most obnoxious men in today's NHL.....

 
At 12:26 PM, July 30, 2007, Anonymous Anshu said...

If there wasn't luck involved, then why hasn't Burke won a cup every year?

I think this point is on the right track. Luck and a certain confluence of circumstances certainly plays a role in any sports championship. Inheriting a team with the right ingredients and built-in advantages (weather, Rob Niedermeyer, etc.) absolutely played a big part in things in Anaheim's case.

Given Burke's historical success (or lack thereof), I'd be hesitant to crown him with the title of great GM just yet.

To draw a somewhat obscure CFL parallel, I'm sure there were people in Saskatchewan who credited Al Ford for the Saskatchewan Roughrider Grey Cup victory in 1989. Look how that turned out.

 

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