Ducks to announce Burke as GM
As has been rumored on this blog and all over the web, Brian Burke is expected to be the next General Manager of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The official announcement is rumored to be taking place on Monday, June 20th, which will be the same press conference that announces Henry & Susan Samueli as the new owners of the team.
Burke is the former GM of the Vancouver Canucks and Hartford Whalers (any chance to mention the Whale is worth taking) and reportedly is getting a four or five year contract for around $1 million per year. He was also the vice-president and director of hockey operations for the NHL during the mid 1990's.
I cannot tell you how excited I am about the future of the Mighty Ducks. I like physical hockey and Burke's teams have always had a physical edge. I know now that the Ducks will soon have that same edge. Burke is also a great quote and a good GM at getting value for the money. He worked with a tight budget in Vancouver but still put together teams that won Division titles, made the playoffs consistently and even a few 100-point years. If he can do the same in Anaheim, I'll be delighted.
Yesterday, when this news hit the wire, I couldn't stop smiling. I really have a feeling that the Mighty Ducks are about to enter a golden age. Everything is coming into place for them - new billionaire owners who also own the building so there is no threat of moving the team and they are motivated to sell tickets - a new GM that is a proven commodity and one that will bring media and public attention to the team - a new CBA that will ensure that the Mighty Ducks are on equal footing with the rest of the league - a slew of prospects like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Joffrey Lupul and Ilya Bryzgalov that are ready to make their mark in the NHL - a great coach like Mike Babcock to bring it all together on the ice. I truly believe that the Mighty Ducks will become the team to beat in the Pacific Division very soon, and that they will be Stanley Cup contenders for years to come.
I hope to have an interview with Brian Burke soon after he is announced as the new GM, so please check back often for updates on that.