Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brian Burke = Massive Beauty

I just finished watching the Brian Bruke press conference on theScore and for the first time in my entire life I can say that I am jealous of Leaf fans.  This man is probably the best GM in all of hockey and his no nonsense style is how every major executive in the industry of sports should behave.  None of this "well I don't know we will have to see" crap.  Burke tells it like it is and doesn't ramble on for the sake of hearing himself talk.

Since he has been the GM of the Leafs he has done an excellent, yet subtle, job of making the Leafs a lot less awful.  First he traded away perennial scrubs Nik Antropov and Dominic Moore and in the past few weeks has signed college standouts Tyler Bozak and Christian Hansen.  He is also actively pursuing Matt Gilroy of the NCAA-champion Boston Terriers and free-agent Swede Jonas Gustavsson, who Burke considers the top goalie outside the NHL.

What I love most about Burke is his ability to trash the Leaf players to the media and get away with it.  When asked in his press conference who he was keeping on the roster for next year he responded by saying, "if any of these guys think they have a job right now they are sorely mistaken.  Anyone can be traded and no player is untradeable hell even Wayne Gretzky got traded."

Burke was also quick to point out that players on the Leafs over value themselves as they feel that since they play on the top powerplay unit or that they receive lots of ice time that they are a good player.  He was quick to remind them that they play on a bad team and are given ice time that they have not earned and do not deserve.  "Every team has a leading scorer" said Burke.  Take that Jason Blake!

For Burke it is all about destroying the "culture of entitlement" in Toronto.  Players have gotten too used to being mauled by reporters and it feeds their egos and makes them think they are better than they actually are.  For an example of this look no further than Dominic Moore.  He was a scrub for the longest time who was only given ice time in Toronto because there was no one else around.  Now he thinks he is worth 3-4 million dollars a year which I can tell you right now he will not get.  This is typical Leaf mentality and it is only helped by the fans who feed the egos of these players by praising them for their play when it is unwarranted. 

Burke's presence in Toronto has caused both the media and the fans to have high expectations and start thinking that the Leafs are going to challenge for the cup soon.  Burke will be the first to tell you that this is unrealistic and that the building process is going to take some time.  When asked what is his goals for next year were Burke responded by saying, "The goal for next year is to make the playoffs," Burke said. "If that's not the goal of every GM, they should get out of the business."  Well said.

This was one of the most enjoyable press conferences I have ever watched and it was all thanks to Brian Burke. His attitude was great and the way he answered questions was refreshing to see as lately JP Riccardi has been the only GM on television and he is a massive tool.  So congratulations Leaf fans you don't have any good players on your team but you do have an amazing GM.

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