Tagged: Brian Burke

Out of Town Notebook: Dead Teams Walking 1

Out of Town Notebook: Dead Teams Walking

As we wind down the 2011-12 NHL season, it’s only fitting to take a moment and pay our respects to the “dearly departed” – those teams we know will be golfing in a couple of weeks. Here now is a quick look at each of the teams looking ahead to 2012-13 already,  in reverse order of today’s standings. Columbus Blue Jackets What went wrong: Pretty much everything. James Wisniewski’s 8-game suspension crippled the team out of the gate. Coach Scott Arniel tried switching his team’s approach from an aggressive to conservative style mid-season, but the results were too poor to save...

Out of Town Notebook: They Paid Grabovski What? 5

Out of Town Notebook: They Paid Grabovski What?

It seems these days not a day goes by that there isn’t something about the mediocre Toronto Maple Leafs that’s making the headlines.  At first blush, the signing of Mikhail Grabovski to a five year, $27.5 million contract seems rather ludicrous. We’re talking about high-end salary for a streaky scorer that’s never put up 30-goals or 60 points.  But is the contract really that far out of whack? Let’s do this arbitration-style, and look at some comparables. Comparable #1: The 2004 NHL Entry Draft – Part 1 Grabovski was drafted 150th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2004 NHL...

Out of Town Notebook: Picking Contenders out of Deadline Mix 2

Out of Town Notebook: Picking Contenders out of Deadline Mix

Let’s get this out of the way first. I’m still not convinced Columbus’ interest in dealing Rick Nash wasn’t a creation of TSN and Sportsnet. The two networks needed a big name to speculate about to drive up ratings for their annual Trade Deadline TV marathons. Sadly for those networks, Nash remains a Blue Jacket at least until the draft, where the hype will be built up all over again. I am giddy with anticipation (and by giddy I mean hitting my head with a shoe to make the idea of 24 hour coverage of “The Rick Nash Trade –...

Out of Town Notebook: Leafs vs. Oilers – Which Rebuild is Better? 3

Out of Town Notebook: Leafs vs. Oilers – Which Rebuild is Better?

James Mirtle in the Globe and Mail asked an interesting question Monday – which rebuild is better, the Leafs approach or the Oilers approach? Ultimately, the answer to this question can only come years from now, when the young promise on each roster has been fulfilled (or not fulfilled, for that matter). However, as the continued success of the Detroit Red Wings (and continued failure of the Columbus Blue Jackets) suggests, there are franchise factors that can have a major impact on the development of a successful team. Good ownership is one of these factors. Every fan wishes their team...

Season Preview: Ranking the Eastern Conference Bluelines 1

Season Preview: Ranking the Eastern Conference Bluelines

There is no greater union in the NHL today than Brian Burke and Toronto Maple Leafs. For all his bluster, and for all his previous on-ice success, Burke’s greatest strength is jousting with the media. And if there’s one thing media saturated Toronto needs is a Maple Leaf general manager with an aptitude for soundbytes. During last week’s “state of the union”-type press scrum with Toronto media, Burke insisted the Leafs defence “stacks up really well against just about any other team in the East.” Does it really? Let’s take a look at Eastern Conference defence rankings headed into the 2011-12 season....

Out of Town Notebook: The NHL’s Neanderthal Culture and the Leafs Re-Rebuild 2

Out of Town Notebook: The NHL’s Neanderthal Culture and the Leafs Re-Rebuild

[Every weekend, Canucks Hockey Blog goes out of town as Tom Wakefield (@tomwakefield88) posts his thoughts on what's happening around the NHL.] Photo credit: canada.com They say you can teach a player to play defence, but you can never teach a player offense. Offense comes from within – from a player’s imagination, intellect and feel for the game they play. Two professional sports leagues seem to understand this, and have changed their rules to cater to the offensive side of their game. Over the last decade, the NFL has gone out of its way to protect the player on-field through...

Out of Town Notebook: Five GMs and Some Hard Decisions 0

Out of Town Notebook: Five GMs and Some Hard Decisions

[Every weekend, Canucks Hockey Blog goes out of town as Tom Wakefield (@tomwakefield88) posts his thoughts on what's happening around the NHL.] Photo credit: Forbes As the NHL All-Star Game approaches (yawn), so too does the trade deadline and the final stretch towards the Stanley Cup playoffs. While there is some significant separation between playoff and non-playoff teams in the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference is a dogfight. With this in mind, here now are five GMs facing important decisions at this stage of the season. Doug Wilson, San Jose Sharks The Challenge: Some questionable moves and a weakened backend...

Hey Brian Burke, this isn’t 1980 8

Hey Brian Burke, this isn’t 1980

I love Brian Burke, he’s a character and I would have him back as GM of my Canucks any day but I’m getting sick of him perpetuating this “underdog” nonsense. This isn’t 1980. For those that don’t know In 1980 the Americans were a bunch of amateur and collegiate players that beat the Russians and ended up winning the gold medal at those Olympics in their next game against Finland. That game against the Soviets was named the “Miracle On Ice”. Now I know Burke is notorious for two things: great quotes, and mind games. This whole Olympics he has...