Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Elevate Me Later

Just ten months after waiving Ilya Bryzgalov, Anaheim GM Brian Burke is at it again, this time placing defenceman Mathieu Schneider on waivers in an effort to clear enough cap space to re-sign Teemu Selanne.

As we've already noted, not only has Burke really struggled at the draft table, he's had one helluva time trying to manage the cap situation in Anaheim (a cap situation largely of his own making).

In addition to waiving Schneider and Bryzgalov, Burke also bought-out Todd Bertuzzi, sticking the Ducks with a two-year $1.33M cap hit in the process. Yes, that's the same Todd Bertuzzi whom Burke signed to a $4M deal that forced the club to trade the promising young Andy McDonald for the whopping return of 38 games of Doug Weight and "tag cap-relief" (tagging is essentially the ability to carry or cover salary dollars across seasons).

With such a reckless approach to managing assets, can someone please remind me why Burke is the alleged front runner to be President and GM of the Leafs?

Consider this mind-boggling fact: Wade Belak and Chad Kilger were worth more than Schneider, Bertuzzi and Bryzgalov combined.

I can only hope that this latest mishandling of assets and mismanagement of cap space pushes Burke that much further out of the running for President and General Manager of my beloved Maple Leafs. If there's anything the Leafs have demonstrated it's that they don't need an outside expert to come in to help screw up their player personnel decisions.


  1. Good job pointing this out. What exactly is Burke's claim to fame as a hockey GM badass, anyway? I'm not being snarky, I just have no clue. And I live in Vancouver!

    I guess drafting both the Sedins (whoopie?) counts for something?

    Being a total hardass to the media isn't enough I suspect..


  2. Anonymous11:36 pm

    I very much doubt that Burke will be the next general manager. He's too hot right now and i think Fletcher isn't looking for anymore Soap Opera that capped the season finale for last year.

    The rebuild needs to be under the radar with the media, i bet with Wilson at the helm, and a draft pick or two and possible Kaberle/Kubina trades this summer, TO will be boosted so much that they'll never see it coming.

    And the Leafs need a very hockey minded GM right now, Peddie is keeping his distance and i respect MLSE for that. I've read blogs a couple of months ago and Joey N. may'be a strong canditate for the position, and he's Cliff's right hand man right now.

    And Joe's got a lot of experience, winning cups, but also with team chemistry, and leadership; that's what a GM should be, and Cliff's the best mentor out there to be training under.

    Burke just doesn't come across as a serious GM, fusses with other GM's. My god he'd kill TO's chances to get any decent trades going next year.

    Feels like a Ballard era type of man to me and he's too business.

    I'm glad Peddie and Burke don't get along, may'be a blessing in disguise.

    Well, this my first time commenting, insightful article, love the site in general, with exception to Berger, recent blogs were way to critical of Leafs players that haven't played yet.
    I believe he does a little injustice for the Leafs Nation.

    ps. what is your take on Sundin if he doesn't go to the Rangers? Can the Leafs afford to take him back and stall again? Too bad it had to end this way, no matter how it goes down. I guess being number 13 for 13 years isn't a lucky combination.

  3. Well there's 40 different shades of Belak

    So many Senators and ways to attack

    Why you complaining? Tough

  4. I think it's safe to say that you, Michael, and you alone, have got me to get off the Brian Burke train.

    While I thought the Bryzgalov waive-age was admireable, the Bertuzzi signing and the McDonald trade were pretty messed up. In his defense, Selanne and Niedermayer messed with him too, but you're right, his track record isn't that great, and we might be better off looking elsewhere (is Doug Wilson's contract up after this season?).

    I still believe Burke will eventually be coming to Toronto, but now I'm just scared.

    So, thanks a lot!

  5. Anonymous11:41 am

    If you compare Burke's record in Vancouver with Pat Quinn's in Toronto which pretty much happened the same time and in the pre-cap era its obvious that Quinn is/was a better GM than Burke.

    I am in agreement. Not sure why Burke is the anointed saviour.

    But he is better than Jay Feaster. Right?


  6. Godd:

    Fletcher don't you go and sign Fin-ger
    Do you think it's gonna make a change?

    I'm just a Jeff with a new contract,
    (Yeah that's a pretty nice contract.)

  7. James - Rational leaf fans (yeah, there are a few) become completely irrational at the thought of someone coming to Toronto and slapping aroudn the media. While it's something I'd love to see (and would likely encourage and maybe even pay admission to watch) it's not what I'm looking for in a President and GM.

  8. Anonymous - Thanks for stoppping by and I'm glad you left a comment.

    I agree that there has to be some concern that if Burke is named GM he may not be able to pull off necessary deals. I have no evidence to back this up and I could be completely wrong, but I get the feeling there's a bit of an anti-Burke bias in the current GMs and they're not all that willing to trade with him at the moment.

    As for Sundin, I hope he laces them up again, but I hope he does it with another team.

    The Leafs desperately need to give more ice time to their kids and they need another top five draft pick. I don't think they can do either of these things if Mats is in their line up.

  9. Good Till and Chemmy - I had no idea one little Pavement title would bring this great creative side out in you...man, I'm going to have to get on this with my upcomign post titles (Ironically, I'm listening to Gold Soundz as I type this).

  10. Meat (may I call you Meat?) - A used Barry Beck hockey card that has spent a generation between the spokes of my electric green CCM bicycle with the banana seat and ape hanger handle bars would make a better GM than Jay Feaster.

    I think we're in agreement here.

  11. Navin - re. Burke+Toronto=fear.

    You and me both man, you and me both.

  12. You laid it out well in your posting, and he certainly can be a curmudgeonly a-hole, so on the one hand I can understand where all the Burke bashing comes from.

    But, on the other hand... HE WON A STANLEY CUP WITH THE DUCKS! How can you say "what has he ever done anyway??"

    As a long-suffering Leafs fan, I would trade a few bad cap moves in exchange for a Cup. I mean, we're getting cap mismanagement by the current regime anyway (buyouts galore, signing Jeff Finger, the give away of McCabe, etc).

    Plus, Burke has a decent track record in the draft. Certainly better than Grandpa "Draft Schmaft" Cliffy!

  13. Ryan - I too want nothing more than a Cup for the Leafs, but I don't think Burke is the be all and end all many are making him out to be.

    While Burke may have won a cup, that's not enough to do it for me...in fact, I'll give Burke some company. Off the top of my head, here's a short list of other Stanley Cup winning executives that I don't want anywhere near the Leafs:

    Jim Rutherford
    Marc Crawford
    Bob Hartley
    John Tortarella
    Jay Feaster
    Glen Sather