Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Burke business

Received a great email on Brian Burke's latest ridiculousness on TSN:
At what point does the League and/or the Ducks ownership tell Brian Burke to shut his pie hole regarding his tiresome feud with Kevin Lowe? It has reached the point where it is not just embarrassing Burke personally, but is also embarrassing the league as a whole.

Burke is a smart hockey executive, and stories abound about his personal kindness to many. In carrying on about this, though, he is displaying a very dark side to his personality that you would have thought he might like to keep hidden. In the process, he is demonstrating to everyone why the previous Canucks ownership eventually grew weary of his act.
— DP
I don't think the league will step in, but this is absolutely bang on: Burke's carrying on is embarrassing, but he's doing most of the damage to himself. He continues to state that the only reason he's upset is that Kevin Lowe didn't call him to say he was signing Dustin Penner, which has to be just about the pettiest excuse I've ever heard.

I said it at the time, but this really was the end of a friend. Who knew NHL general managers could be such babies?

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At 2:52 p.m., October 03, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Who knew NHL general managers could be such babies?

I dunno, James. I'm biased, but I hear more whining on reactions to Burke quotes than I hear in the quotes themselves.

I guess people want to hear less from GMs, though? Anyway, here's a hint, for those who are really bothered: Burke is entirely ignorable. Try it.

At 3:01 p.m., October 03, 2007, Blogger YzermanZetterberg said...

Did someone say something?

Oh well, I guess it must have just been the wind blowing... ;)

At 3:05 p.m., October 03, 2007, Blogger Lowetide said...

My Dad always taught me that you are only responsible for your own behaviour. The initial anger came from not letting him know and then buggering up a BC Sports Hall of Fame appearance.

Which speaks to ego, misguieded loyalty and general immaturity. If Brian Burke were not involved in this issue he would certainly see the bad behaviour, but who among us has never done something like this?

His error is in doing it publicly. Pettiness is in all of us. We should pity Brian Burke, as this is likely to onset of some kind of dementia.

I'm serious.

At 3:06 p.m., October 03, 2007, Blogger k.w. said...

Burke seems like one of those guys who will make fun of you all night long, but when you give it back he'll punch you in the face. Also, his giant red face irritates me.

At 4:16 p.m., October 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burke seems like one of those guys who will make fun of you all night long, but when you give it back he'll punch you in the face. Also, his giant red face irritates me.

Exactly. I'm officially a proponent of the Getzlaf offer sheet.

At 4:43 p.m., October 03, 2007, Anonymous Rod said...

Earl, you're right that Burke is very ignorable. That's not the point though. The Ducks should care that he's making them look bad. Not to mention the fact he's putting himself above the team. Burke wore out his welcome in Vancouver, and he's leaving little to the imagination as to how that could have happened.

Then throw in the fact Burkie's histrionics are laughable. He practically got Pronger for a song, and that played a huge part in the Cup win. Yet Burkie is carrying on like Lowe broke a blood oath, stole his girlfriend, keyed his car, and shot his dog...and that none of those happened to anyone else in history before.

As others have already said, he can dish it out, but he sure can't take it. The big baby needs to grow up already and act like a professional.

At 5:02 p.m., October 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burke can rant and rave all he wants, and by his deeds he will always look smarter than his "nemesis" Kevin Lowe.

Lowe's stealing Penner was just a desperate attempt to get his self respect back after the Pronger deal, in which Burke didn't even have the decency to give him a reach around. Now Burke is calling him on it and good for him.

At some point Edmonton will have to wake up and realize Lowe isn't even a half assed GM, and that he needs to be fired in order to turn the team around. How long are they going to put up with his stealing from others to try and cover up the fact that he at best should be serving Oilers fans their popcorn, and not running their team. Its going to get alot worse now that Howson is gone.

If you want to see someone make an ass of himself, go back to some old footage where Lowe demands Comrie pay the team money to be traded for no less than Corey Perry.

At 5:13 p.m., October 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No arguments with any of the above, but did Lowe really "steal" Penner? Just asking.

At 5:27 p.m., October 03, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

Burke's a great GM, but a poor human being.

At 6:35 p.m., October 03, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

No arguments with any of the above, but did Lowe really "steal" Penner? Just asking.

He didn't. It's simple economics 101. Penner was obviously worth more to Lowe than Burke.

The whole thing is stupid. If lowe had called Burke the night before said "Hey, I'm going to make Penner a big offer" What do you think would have happened? (run a poll, james!)

1. Everything would be the same except Burke and Lowe would be best friends forever

2. Burke would have went behind lowe's back to make sure penner was signed before that sheet was ever shown

3. Nothing would have changed and burke would still be bitching about Lowe.

At 7:19 p.m., October 03, 2007, Anonymous MikeP said...

4) Burke would have said something along the lines of what Regier said, and told Lowe "we're going to match whatever you offer!", then whined that Lowe made the offer anyway.

A desperate attempt by a GM to save his job? So what? Lowe should roll over and die quietly?

Hey, he could offer some oft-injured has-been way too much money in the hopes that he'll resurrect his career!

Hey Earl, people whining about Burke's whines? Entirely ignorable. Try it.

At 7:33 p.m., October 03, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Hey Earl, people whining about Burke's whines? Entirely ignorable. Try it.

Fair enough.

I won't be writing any letters to James.

At 10:41 a.m., October 04, 2007, Anonymous Keith said...

A desperate attempt by a GM to save his job? So what? Lowe should roll over and die quietly?

Obviously not. Lowe should, however, use a little foresight in looking at the long term picture for his team, rather than making any random move in the hopes it will save his job.

Burke is a whiner, but Lowe's incompetence has the potential to radically alter the financial landscape for the worse. Young players with one decent year that have not earned 1000% raises may expecting just that thanks to Lowe. Burke may be the only one going after him in the media, but I have no doubt that many others are grumbling behind the spotlight.

And while we are talking about whiners, why not talk about Lowe himself, and how he has repeatedly blamed the city of Edmonton for his organizations failures to attract, or retain, talent?

At 1:02 p.m., October 04, 2007, Anonymous Rod said...

Keith: True enough that Penner's contract will likely have a ripple effect. Younger players may well get a larger piece of the pie than before. Under a cap though, that's nothing more than a reallocation of funds. In the bigger picture, it doesn't increase payroll.

Consequently, Lowe's RFA offer sheets have potentially made opposing GMs jobs harder. Why is that a bad thing? If other GMs have a more difficult time throwing money at UFAs now (because they have to reserve more for their RFAs), why is that something Lowe should apologize for?

There's no reason the Oilers should have been happy with the status quo. The "same old, same old" were scooping up the big name UFAs as FA opened. Plus, the Western Conference travel schedule is often cited by free agents. Then there's the fact at least two players wives have balked at living in Edmonton. It's not just whining by Lowe. It's reality.

That reality means the Oilers should target younger players. If the side effect is that teams reallocate payroll to protect their young assets, that makes UFAs a touch cheaper.

Of course there's a drawback. The Oilers have a number of young players that may well become RFA targets. Even if that happens, it reinforces the reallocation. Net effect? Lowe's made his own job a bit more difficult. *Along with 29 opposition GMs.* Not bad.

Note, I'm not defending the individual moves. That's another angle completely. For example, I'm quite thankful Nylander's wife freaked out. The Oil are a better team today and in the next few years than they'd have been with Nylander.

I'm simply saying the thing you decried ("radically alter the financial landscape for the worse") isn't something Lowe should be hanging his head about. There's no reason Lowe should have just rolled over. The status quo wasn't working in the interests of the Oilers. Without inflating overall payroll, the landscape has shifted. That's a good thing from an Oiler perspective.

At 3:29 p.m., October 04, 2007, Anonymous showtyme said...

While I agree that he's going a bit overboard with this whole issue, I think he enjoys hearing his name in the news.

The interview (with Duthie) was set up in such a way that Burke had to continue on his rant, or look like a real fool (although, I'm not sure that the way it went down was much better.)

I'm getting more and more alienated with the media's ability to lead each of the newsmakers into a place that they are not necessarily wanting to go.

Just my two cents.

P.S. I still think that Burke is being a bit of a baby, just not quite as much as what seems to be the general consensus.


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