Burke On the Olympics

ESPN has a pretty enlightening story on how Brian Burke thinks a team – specifically, the US Olympic Team – should be built. Scott Burnside followed around the US Olympic Braintrust for a while and got a pretty compelling article out of it. The choice quote?

Burke recalls fighting with his scouts in Anaheim over whether to take Bobby Ryan or Jack Johnson at the 2005 draft. The scouts won and the Ducks took Ryan. “I should have taken Jack,” Burke says. “No way he lets us down for 12 days.”

This should be disturbing for Flames fans – Johnson has been one of the worst regular defenseman in the NHL throughout his career and Ryan is on his way to his 5th 30-goal season. To say that even with the benefit of hindsight shows an extreme level of cognitive dissonance.

Read all of it here.

  • sathome

    1.The management team for the USA were crucified for the team they picked in 2010 for leaving off some of the superstars of American hockey. Seems like Burke did ok with that.
    2. It seemed like the consensus on Bobby Ryan was/is that if they are not sure he can play in the top 6, he brings little else to the table and he isn’t a great skater. Why blame Burke for his omission?
    3. Burke lobbied for Johnson. Check out his international resume and NHL playoff resume. Burke stated that over that 12 days, he would not let them down and a significant body of international works supports this.

    • sathome

      1. small sample size. over an 82-game season they would be crucified. 2. bobby ryan scores 30 goals a year. there aren’t 6 other guys who have done that like he has on that team. 3. johnson’s sucked in every capacity he’s ever been in.

      • Arik

        It’s 12 days, not 82 games.
        You may want to check out his history of international play plus his medals and awards before making that statement. 12 points in 12 nhl playoff games too

        • Arik

          below .5ppg on the international stage, bleeds shot attempts, and was the most penalized player in the tournament in every junior-aged thing he played in.

          picking a team and hoping to get lucky is what happens when you build a team for 12 days – like 2010.

          • Arik

            Tough for def to get credit for points in international hockey
            Rob Blake- 23 points in 58 international games.
            They actual build a team to fit a system they choose. They expect to win not hope to get lucky. The team playing the best as a team will make their luck especially against a team of individuals especially at this level

  • RexLibris

    Well then, here’s hoping that Team USA crashes and burns this Olympics and that Bruke learns from it.

    Which to me is the most imporant thing. Every GM makes mistakes and has biases and weird love/hate affairs with certain players, but is Burke willing to change some of his thinking or will he just make excuses if Team USA loses badly? That’s what I’m waiting to see.

    Still hoping btw, that Burke hires a GM with who is a foil to him and who isn’t afraid to wear the pants in the relationship. I’ll judge Burke’s major moves if and when he actually makes them.

    • Parallex

      Brian Burke doesn’t strike me as someone who actually learns from his mistakes and he doesn’t strike me as someone who has any interest in learning anything new in general. Not at a fundimental level anyways. On a micro-level he’ll admit mistakes but I don’t think he’d ever do so on a macro-level.

      Seriously, with the exception of his short tenure with the Ducks, Brian Burke has a losing record as a NHL executive and where-ever he goes he always spouts the same philosophy. I’ve never heard him question the relevance of said philosophy.