If you’ve not been keeping up to date with former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke and his return to the media, you’re missing out on a real show. The 62 year old veteran hockey executive recently resigned from his position as president of hockey operations with the Calgary Flames, electing to join the media and take a job wish sports broadcast giant Sportsnet. His opinion, analysis and inside info have made his segments on Sportsnet’s playoff broadcast must see TV.
Burke’s insight into the game and the way he conveys that insight is like no one else in the hockey media world. He’s unafraid to step on anyone else’s toes and he’ll freely offer up information that would otherwise be confidential between NHL clubs. Case in point, his appearance on Bob McCown’s Prime Time Sports this past Friday afternoon.
In discussing the Leafs’ current situation regarding its open general manager position, Burke revealed the fact that current assistant GM Kyle Dubas, believed to be the frontrunner to succeed Lou Lamoriello as the team’s next GM, not only received an interview with the Colorado Avalanche last summer for their GM position, but was actually offered the job. In effect, Dubas had to be reeled back in by the Leafs, maybe by promising a direct line to the GM spot?
We can only speculate on how and why Dubas elected to decline Colorado’s offer, but would it surprise anyone if it somehow came to light that he had been offered the Leafs ‘ job sometime down the line?
Dubas, along with colleague Mark Hunter, is considered a frontrunner for the job in Toronto following the announcement that Lamoriello will not return as Leafs GM next season. This decision and announcement came directly from Leafs president Brendan Shanahan who maintained that his decision to replace Lamoriello had been made following the team’s playoff elimination to the Boston Bruins. Burke, however, maintains that the decision to replace Lamoriello was “common knowledge throughout the NHL for the past three months.”
Whomever the Leafs end up hiring or promotion to their top job, it’ll be interesting to see how things play out in the Toronto media, especially with Burke on board. Again, his analysis and insight into the game is unlike anyone else in the media. Like legendary CBC broadcaster Don Cherry, you may not agree with everything Burke says, but you’ll at least be entertained while you listen.