Ducks expected to hire Burke as GM
According to Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are now negotiating with Brian Burke in hopes of reaching a deal to name Burke the next GM. Burke is allegedly the only candidate for the job right now and the expectation from both sides is that the negotiations will go smoothly and that Burke will get the job as soon as the Samueli's purchase of the team is approved.
This is great news for me as a Mighty Ducks fan. Burke is a guy that is a legitimate hockey person. The Mighty Ducks have only had that once before, and that was when Bryan Murray was running the show. Murray got the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first season as GM and then signed the biggest FA in the league in Sergei Fedorov to follow it up. By hiring a guy like Burke the Mighty Ducks are taking a big step to not only becoming a legitimate team in hockey, but a legitimate contender.
Burke is a guy that tells it like it is and he has a great personality for Southern California sports. His sometimes outrageous quotes will fit in very well with the press here and will get the Mighty Ducks a lot of extra coverage. But beyond that, he's proven that he knows how to put together a good hockey team.
As GM of the Vancouver Canucks, Burke "turned a sad sack hockey club into a strong team with plenty of potential and doing it all while working within a reasonable budget" accoring to Jeff Patterson of Straight.com in Vacouver. Does that sound familiar? He's being hired to do the same kind of thing here in Anaheim, and I believe he'll be able to do it.
The Mighty Ducks will almost assuredly take on a different look under Burke, and it should be a very entertaining one. Here's what Burke had to say at his farewell press conference in Vancouver: "I like the commitment the team has made to an entertaining style. We are not in the hockey business; we are in the entertainment business. We have played a style that has been pleasing not only to our fans but to fans around the NHL."
When I think of the Canucks teams under Burke, I think of teams that had all the elements. Toughness, snipers, aggression, skill and work ethic. I think of guys like Todd Bertuzzi, Donald Brashear, the Sedin twins and Markus Naslund. He put together teams that could play a variety of styles and which could play and entertaining style. With a better goalie, he probably would have won a lot more playoff series - especially if he didn't have to play Colorado so often.
Finally, to quote Jeff Patterson again: "Burke made hockey matter again in this city, and for that, Vancouver owes him a huge debt of gratitude." Burke will now try to make hockey matter in Anaheim, and I believe he will succeed.