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Burke sides with small-market teams over Kovalchuk deal


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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/burke-sides-with-small-market-teams-over-kovalchuk-deal/article1701797/

In what must have made for grand theatre in front of a host of league and NHLPA lawyers, Burke expounded on his hatred for “bogus” contracts that cheated the salary-cap system, fingering at one point Philadelphia Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger’s seven-year, $34.45-million deal as an egregious example of one he would never have signed.

Burke added that only six to eight teams were signing these long-term contracts, and they were all well-funded, big-market franchises that spent to the cap and were looking for ways to fit more talent in for less.

Making Burke’s involvement all the more intriguing was the fact his position put him directly at odds with Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, his mentor and former coach dating to his playing days at Providence College in the mid-1970s.

Asked if his position on these contracts had strained his relationship with Lamoriello and other GMs who had signed similar deals, Burke said, simply: “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

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Best part of the article:

Burke’s critics, however, look at the landscape of the league, where competing teams such as the Devils and Flyers are benefiting from creatively constructed deals, and question why some of the Leafs’ financial muscle isn’t aimed in that direction.

“Lamoriello came out at the press conference [for Kovalchuk’s initial contract] and said, ‘well I’m against these deals,’ ” one source noted. “But he did what was best for his organization. For his team. He always does.”

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Best part of the article:

Burke’s critics, however, look at the landscape of the league, where competing teams such as the Devils and Flyers are benefiting from creatively constructed deals, and question why some of the Leafs’ financial muscle isn’t aimed in that direction.

“Lamoriello came out at the press conference [for Kovalchuk’s initial contract] and said, ‘well I’m against these deals,’ ” one source noted. “But he did what was best for his organization. For his team. He always does.”

Quoted for truthiness.

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it is clear, given burke's penchant for complaining, that some player was signed out from under him due to front-loaded contracts. i'd bet on either mattias ohlund or marian hossa.

nd5: the devils are not, and will never be, a big market team.

Edited by Triumph
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I really like that Burke is willing to say was he feels, and stick to it whether it offends people or not. I do think that can be a good quality in a person. However, I think he does it too much, over every single thing. He doesn't need to talk to the press every time they ask him something. That's why he is in the news so often (TO press badger him, and he talks every time).

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Looks like another long season in Toronto.

Mike

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Wow - floored by this epiphany Burke would be unhappy with this stuff. :whistling:

See now actually Vanderbeek has given me pause in forcing this issue into the ineffable system.

Because as the NHL felt forced to react - waste a LOT of time and resources on it -- I began to realize, particularly with all the other major sports dealing with contract issues and star players this off season - see how out of whack Hockey is within the context of major league sports... I had to think the NHL was responding to the urgency of these contracts and I didn't mind until I realized -- there is ZERO urgency in their dealing with the lack of revenue generation.

I'm not seeing things - I have formed no thoughts on the subject -- but many thoughts swirling in my bean

I think the business of sports is out of whack - but our nations priorities isn't something I can tackle. Hockey is out of whack with mainstream in that honor integrity and loyalty are asked to be proven by not taking big pay outs. 10m a year is not a big payout in any other major commercial sport.

So running a league as a hockey purist would - allowing the purity of hockey to speak for itself - hockey's voice cannot be loud enough. It's a beautiful altruistic dream but :noclue: there's just too much noise for the beauty of hockey to break through.

Making hockey jump through current marketing hoops - it falls flat, as flat as Scotty Stevens saying "I'm here for the party" or Marty on the radio trying to convince me to stop by Malouf sounding like a manure salesman with a mouth full of samples. It's sort of humiliating while endearing - I wouldn't have it any other way for hockey. It's charming but no one likes charm -- charm is weak unless it's unctuous - like Vanderbeeks curly pate... well, that's probably gel but you know what I mean.

This whole thing just - what is the NHL doing? They've sold hockey down the river refusing to market what they've got. The NHL (men that have been running the league) doesn't like hockey. they are not a fan of the game. They don't KNOW hockey or understand it. They think the games has to be changed to be any good. The dont get the mixed message -- the Lous say there are no stars in hockey and the Gretsky machine tells them you've got to run with one guy only - that way it's still a team but with a shining finesse guy that makes the crap watchable. Machine now says Sidney Crosby is hockey and they -- I dont know try to run with one guy. Why can't that give up that paradigm? Accept it wasn't GRETZKY that brought the NHL to the foreground in the mid 80s

The NHL is trying to recreate the Gretsky phenomenon - refusing to take into account what the game was like as he came in. Maybe it was the fact Montreal set a standard then they were defeated! The Islanders in a big media market got everyone's attention -- then the Oilers and Gretzky could reap those benefits...and hockey could host Sat. Night live -- so the NHL does what? Rides this one really geeky not particularly compelling dude as the be all end allof hockey -:rant: sucha TINY part of the picture... :argh: - they turned him into some stand alone embodiment of hockey --- it was a sh!tty model and NOT the impetus for the hockey craze in his time. They lost complete control of the message fo hockey and made it the message of Gretzky and now their answer to that failing is to try to DO IT ALL AGAIN???? Mario??? Lindros??? Sidney?? FAIL FAIL FAIL! Cut it out already! :argh:

man it's just all so inept and ... and I just get the vibe that Vanderbeek loves hockey. It clicked for him - the ineffable system clicked for him. I don't see him as tinkering with our Devils.... I see him trying to reach beyond, doing all that one guy CAN do for the whole game. I guess he would rest if he created another Red Wings but man -- at least you have 2 then -- IF the Wings dont fold a la Montreal... a la the Islanders.

I'm sure I'm am TOTALLY off base. But he's our best bet, guys. He understands the outside world in a way we don't. He gets greed but -- hockey is a losing proposition so there MUST be some love of the game in there....

hmehhh I'm going off the deep end -- but I see a spark of hope -- maybe that's all there is. I just would like to see something done.

NHL has triaged hockey's problem incorrectly.

I have no alternative answer.

Parity is BORING and not the answer. Throwing money is not the answer because these GMs are not thinking about the game as a whole. It's win and quit like the Blackhawks are probably destined to be. The Cap isn't changing anything -- it's just breeding ONE and DONE. How is Burke going to address that? How can LOU address that? He can't -- Stevens left and DONE. done... Lou can't fix it under this CBA. and I'm not saying it's the money per se -- I'm just saying the CBA is NOT working. and this is NOT the answer. Something is wrong and the NHL should fix it forcing mediocrity is just never the answer.... the CBA is forcing mediocrity. :rolleyes: wake up even....

Edited by Pepperkorn
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it is clear, given burke's penchant for complaining, that some player was signed out from under him due to front-loaded contracts. i'd bet on either mattias ohlund or marian hossa.

nd5: the devils are not, and will never be, a big market team.

I'm Burke -- tell me why they aren't. Seriously... not a sophist argument. Be true to yourself here and not just true to trying to win an argument.

I'm hard pressed to feel they aren't all things considered.

(I thought you'd enjoy the sophist thing there -- but in case that's vague - don't work your ass off creating an answer that looks to be true on all counts -- we know what we're dealing with here - nothing is going to change the fact that despite keeping things in the median - the team is located in a huge media market, the team has a huge fan base, the team has a highly successful record. To say they're some humble team nonmarketed mid-line spending mid-line revenue generation -- that's all very plausible, you can show me documented evidence too I'm sure... but it's just not true. I can say I'm an old gray haired overweight shrew --- but come on... I'm just not, that's totally laughable despite all I write being true on some level.)

Edited by Pepperkorn
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rolleyes.gif He's still trying to embezzle Clarkson out of us.

Someone needs to take Burke by the hand and point to number 2 in the Eastern Conference standings and explain to him that his focus shouldn't be there. Than that person should slowly drag their finger down to last in the standings and tell him in very simple words to focus there.

Stop living in 1967 Burke, you were only 12 years old.

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Wait, the GM of an original 6 franchise in a massive, hockey crazed market is whining for small market teams? :rofl::doh1::blink:

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15 minutes away from downtown Manhattan... seems pretty big market to me.

Anyway, I didn't care about Burke that much before, but this quote really convinced me he can be a total a$$hole:

Asked if his position on these contracts had strained his relationship with Lamoriello and other GMs who had signed similar deals, Burke said, simply: “I don’t know and I don’t care.
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