Five things: Oh Burkie

1. Trading for Westgarth

I don’t know that I’ll ever understand how Brian Burke puts together a hockey team.

Late in November the team traded Tim Jackman because who really needs Tim Jackman on your team? This was, presumably, a deal that Brian Burke approved for Jay Feaster, because as President of Hockey Operations it would certainly have been under his purview to sign off on any transactions, even one as inconsequential as a largely-useless fighter for a sixth-round pick.

Jackman this season has a 47.3 percent corsi share, which is remarkably bad, and actually even worse than the 48 percent he posted last season. Getting anything at all for him was a minor coup for the dearly departed Mr. Feaster. You just don’t need guys like that on your NHL team.

Or at least, you don’t if you’re someone not named Brian Burke. Sure, he only traded Greg Nemisz for Kevin Westgarth on Tuesday, and Nemisz was never going to amount to anything at the NHL level, but neither is Westgarth, who’s now on his third team in as many seasons, and flat-out sucks. This is the very definition of shuffling deck chairs around on the Titanic, if the crew had been ordered to do it with the deck listing at about 85 degrees and descending with alarming speed into the icy black North Atlantic.

In much the same way as the Flames would do well to call up any old AHLer, probably including Nemisz, to relieve Sean Monahan following his return from injury, almost any guy they could have recalled from Abbotsford was going to have a more positive impact than Westgarth, who’s only marginally better in terms of possession than Jackman, largely because of situational use.

Of course, that’s not to say the Flames aren’t hard-up, because they certainly are. How bad are things up front these days? Westgarth was enlisted to play more than 10 minutes against the Flyers on New Year’s Eve. It was just the fourth time he’s done it in his entire career. Yikes.

2. The offense, or lack thereof

With that loss to the Flyers, the Flames have now scored a whopping one goal in the last three games, none of which were against particularly staunch competition. This was, I think, something we all figured had to be coming at some point, but what’s interesting is that it’s not because of injury, as only Curtis Glencross and Blair Jones are on the shelf among forwards.

And it’s also because of regression on a team-wide basis, because the team is only shooting 8.7 percent for the season, which doesn’t strike one as being particularly low. In fact, league average is currently 8.9 percent, so they’re probably about where they should be given the lack of quality the team generally has up front.

However, you might say it’s regression on an individual basis, because among the team’s top five scorers this season (Jiri Hudler, Mike Cammalleri, Monahan, Mark Giordano, and Matt Stajan), only Giordano has a shooting percentage of less than 10 percent. And his is 9.4 percent. This is, it seems, just one of those things, and there’s no one on the roster to pick up the slack.

The problem is that they’re already one of just eight teams in the league to not break triple digits in terms of goals, and only one ahead of Nashville with an extra game played for 29th. Again, it makes perfect sense. And this is what we all signed up for when we mentally agreed to watch this team this year. Sad but true.

3. Breen on waivers

Good riddance.

4. USA Hockey and the Calgary Flames

I’m going to write a whole lot more words on this subject for Puck Daddy tomorrow (TUNE IN THEN!) but in reading Scott Burnside’s remarkable piece on the selection process for the U.S. Olympic roster, I think we got a window into why the Flames are doomed to be bad for years, perhaps more than a decade, to come.

The USA Hockey “brain”trust decided to leave Bobby Ryan off the roster for reasons that are positively baffling. They don’t begin to make sense. One board member called him a “sleepy skater” and Peter Laviolette expressed concern that his low percentage of power play points (four out of his 22 at the time, and eight of 36 now) was somehow a negative.

Okay, sure, you don’t trust a guy’s skating on international ice. An argument could be made. But they think it’s bad that he scores the vast majority of his points at even strength? Am I missing something?

More pertinent to the Flames, though, was Brian Burke’s repeated and mystifying condemnations of Ryan’s game, which has allowed him to score at least 31 goals in four straight NHL seasons, and gotten him to 18 in 41 games so far this season. “He’s not intense enough” and “I should have taken Jack Johnson instead of him in 2005” are among the idiotic concerns voiced by Burke vis a vis an elite goalscorer who by the way already played in an Olympics for the U.S.

If this is the way Burke still thinks, then this is how the Flames are going to be built until he loses his job, which could be what, five, six, seven years from now? How many GMs will he get to go through before that day? How many high first-round picks? It’s gonna be a tough go of things, one suspects.

5. Poirier signed

At least there’s this nice little bit of housekeeping to fall back on. You’d have thought he’d be the guy they locked up before Morgan Klimchuk, but you can’t argue with the logic. He’s carving up the Q, as you might expect, to the tune of now 53 points in 36 games, and leading Gatineau in scoring by a wide, wide margin.

Really, it was the only thing to do. He’ll be playing pro hockey by the postseason, and deservedly so.

  • everton fc

    I would disagree with the overall premise of Mr. Lamberts piece, that being that Brian Burke is the Prince of Darkness for the Calgary Flames.

    Burke/King/Edwards et al (not just Burke) will hire a solid GM from the long list of qualified candidates. The timing of that hire is the wild card here. It may not be until the regular season is complete, but it WILL happen prior to the 2014 draft. The Calgary situation for an incoming GM is an attractive one, with an ownership group ready, willing and able to spend to the cap, the illustrated cap and contract flexibility, a system that has much more talent that it had (with perhaps some bargaining chips in it) and some older talent that could attract higher draft picks in trade.

    Regardless, as is the case with all contending franchises, there needs to be some gems uncovered, some positive surprises out of the talent pool. And that talent pool includes the coaching staff, the scouting staff, the GM and the President. Who knows, maybe the new GM will be a former Flame player. And perhaps Tim Harrison will evolve into a 50 goal scorer. In the meantime, I enjoy the efforts we are seeing far more than the lackadaisical appearance of the past several seasons. I know/expect that the results won’t be there for a while, but my expectation is for improvement and that improvement in the near term. And those expectations are the same in the executive and owners suite at the Saddledome.

    • 24% body fat

      “Burke/King/Edwards et al (not just Burke) will hire a solid GM from the long list of qualified candidates.”

      interesting question–has any of those three, anywhere, ever, hired a “solid GM”?

      food for thought.

  • smith

    Team USA didnt like the amount of PP points Ryan had because they felt that was where he would be used the most if he was on the team.

    The braintrust didnt overly like his skating for the large ice and he is not physical so he needed to be in the top-6 and/or a PP specialist.

    Given his lack of PP points was troubling because that was the role they wanted him in, if he was selected.

    Jack Johnson has all the tools to be an exceptional D-man. I think development and circumstance has hindered his progression and Burke probably feels he could have taken him and developed him properly. He still could turn into a top D-man. Its not that ridiculous to fathom taking Johnson over Ryan. Niether are Crosby calibre and both still have untapped potential.

    Russell is an example of D-men reaching their potential in thier late 20’s. If Johnson wasnt on CLB im sure he would be much more highly regarded.

    I trust Burke and don’t think he will trade players like Baertschi just because of this truculant comments…

    I get it Burke is an east target but he has turned around every organization he has been a part of and he is not as dumb as he sounds sometimes…

    • “If Johnson wasnt on CLB im sure he would be much more highly regarded. ”

      He used to play for puck possession monster Los Angeles–and his results there were shockingly bad. And this is while he was regarded by everyone except the Kings’ coach and GM as a top two defenseman somehow.

      Pretty much every year, he was the King’s worst defenseman in every respect imaginable.

      I don’t care how many points a defenseman puts up. If he can’t play in his own end, he either sucks or he should be playing forward.

    • Parallex

      Burke turned around every organization he has been a part of… Really? He “turned around” Toronto (his most recent job) did he?

      A losing record, zero playoff appearances, and 4 bottom 10 finishes during his tenure doesn’t say “turned around” to me.

      • Burnward

        Toronto made the playoffs last year and should again this year.

        Burke isnt there anymore but his work is the main reason for Toronto’s turnaround into a playoff team.

        He traded spare parts for Phaneuf.

        He got Gardiner and Lupul for Beauchemin.

        He traded Schenn for van Riemsdyk.

        He drafted Rielly.

        He traded away Ponikarovsky and Antropov who aren’t even in the league anymore..

        Just because the Leafs aren’t world beaters doesn’t mean Burke hasn’t done some good things there..

        Now that Feaster isn’t here Burke now recieves the blind hate….?

        Give the man some time, he will turn this ship around, he has done so everywhere else he has gone, even if some do not see it.

        • Parallex

          “Toronto made the playoffs last year and should again this year.”

          After Burke was gone… (and really that’s more luck then anything, Toronto is not good I would not be surprised if they end up missing this year). If you’re gonna go ahead and arbitrarily give him post-departure credit for T.O. sneaking into the playoffs in a shortened season I’m gonna go ahead and arbtrarily debit him his championship team in Anaheim.

          I don’t see it as blind hate. Calling it blind hate would imply that it was hate without reason… I think there are plenty of reasons to not want Burke anywhere near your favored hockey team.

          • smith

            Out of all the arguments I make about Burkes tenure in Toronto the easy rebuttle is the only one pointed out…

            Toronto would be alot worse off if not for some of Burke’s moves..

            In regards to Anahiem: Burke traded for Niedermayer and Pronger. Without those two moves they don’t win the cup.

            I get it Scott’s brother was there and it was easy so sway him into signing and Pronger wanted out of EDM but you still need to give him credit for these franchise altering moves.

            Its the same argument we have here with Sutter. Button constructed the majority of that ’04 team but Sutter brought in Kipper, Ville Nieminen, Chris Simon and Marcus Nilson. All key to the cup run…

            I’m ok with criticizing the man but I don’t like that everyone automatically thinks he will screw things up here when past history proves otherwise..

            Wait for an actual move before you judge him..

            Westgarth doesnt count.

          • Parallex

            First off Westgarth DOES count.

            “Toronto would be alot worse off if not for some of Burke’s moves.”

            You could just as easily say Toronto would be a lot better off if not for some of Burke’s moves. In fact you can say that about anybody doing anything.

            Fact is Burkes moves were Burkes moves and what they resulted in was a mediocre (at best) team in T.O.

          • the forgotten man

            But how bad were they before Burke got there?

            Did the bulk of his work make them worse or improve them?

            Surely the moves mentioned earlier improved the team.

        • Southern_Point

          “Toronto made the playoffs last year and should again this year.”

          They won’t make the playoffs this year. They give up too many shots don’t make take enough of their own, and their management is uninterested in changing that. They made the playoffs last year because of the shortened season. This year after 42 games they are a bubble team in fifth 3 points ahead of Philly however Philly has played two less games.

          • EugeneV

            The game of hockey boils down to to one thing in the end.

            The SCORE.

            If you are out shot 52 – 10 but score 3 GOALS to their 2 GOALS, You WIN 3 – 2 not lose 52 – 10.

            Corsi is a stat, GOALS are the GAME.

            Toronto has 2 strong goalies and a top scorer in Kessell and 2 strong complimentary scorers in Lupul and JVR.

            Don’t kid yourself, they should have beaten the Bruins last year in the first round.

            I am NOT a Leafs fan, by the way.

          • RedMan

            erm. No.

            By the logic you used in your post, the Leafs should NOT have beaten the Bruins because they didn’t beat the Bruins.

            Also: Boston had a better goal differential on the season. Boston wins.

            Boston outscored Toronto in the series. Boston wins.

            moreover, Boston is a better puck possession team with the score close. They’re better at generating shots and chances (and goals) and they’re better at preventing shots and chances against.

            There is NO way to say Toronto should have won that series. None. At all.

            It’s a quirk of astonishing luck that they got it to 7 games at all. Boston was–and is–the better team. Full stop.

          • EugeneV

            While I did ramble on and possibly make a point about Toronto in the post which should have not been part of it, I just want people to STOP it with the Corsi BS. It is a stat, one of many.

            Wins are the most important stat.

            Goals are what wins hockey games, that is the point I was TRYING to make.

  • 24% body fat

    Also I think Burke wanted Ryan on the team.

    He classified him as a game breaker. The coaching staff really wanted Oshie and everyone was concerned over the large ice and Ryan’s skating abilities..

  • From that Burnside piece, here’s something else that stuck out to me:

    The issue is where he fits. If he’s not a top-six forward, his skating doesn’t really lend itself to him being a third-line checker. He cannot kill penalties, and while in Anaheim, he was not on the team’s top power-play unit.

    Yup. A third line HAS to be made up of grinders and checker types.

    • Byron Bader

      In Olympic hockey no less where checking and grit is pivotal. Truly ridiculous.

      I think my favorite part of the article was Brown being a lock before the season even starts. Good player but 13 points in 40 games. And they pass on a guy who very well might score 40 goals this year. Also, the guy can play with anybody and put up numbers like that. Exactly what one might need in a game of Olympic hockey.

    • the forgotten man

      I have to agree wholeheartedly with Kent on this one…why not, just for sh**s & giggles run four offensive minded lines with an emphasis of the 3rd and 4th lines forechecking hard…create pressure in the opponents zone a la the best defensive is a good offense mantra goes. Seriously, it can’t be any worse hockey than we’ve watched for however long. If you need a glove dropper at least make sure he can skate fast and forechecking even if he has hands of stone. This defensive checking line garbage is outdated and essentially defers to the opposition the ability to dictate the flow and structure of the game.

    • everton fc

      Where did he say they had to be grinders? Sounds like they want guys that can really skate in that role and who will have the intensity to engage and win 50/50 battles. Why do you infer that he wants grinders there? Who on their roster is just a grinder in the NHL?

  • everton fc

    I’m not hitting the panic button yet. (close but not yet) I prefer to be upset about things that actually happen as opposed to what may happen. One can spend a lot of time and energy worrying about ghosts that never materialize.

    Having said that I agree that there are some concerning indicators of what may come. I do not like the Nemisz trade not for the trade itself but for what it demonstrates. Burke’s statement that one tough guy is not enough is absurd. I can sort of argue and justify in my head the need for one tough guy but two is indefensible. I wouldn’t love it but I can live with a Bouma, Jones, Grats fourth line. Big, good checkers, two of three decent skaters, tough. I just don’t get the need to slow the line down and toughen it up even more with two Gratz style players. I’m not sure how this move makes our team better.

    On the positive good to see all of our first rounders signed. A big test will be the handling of College guys after season is done.

    Moving Sven to Abbotsford was the right thing to do.

    Press conferences are amusing. On that note a very good article by Sportak in the SUn today making fun or Burke’s desire to get tougher.

    Hopefully Burke can fleece some team in a lopsided trade for skill and size.

    Lastly if the Flames sign Kanoptka I may have no choice but to join the Anti Burke crew here at FN.

    • everton fc

      Konopka’s good in the face off circle. Seriously. Andmoving Sven tot he farm was indeed, a good move.

      Unrelated, but Berube seems to have turned the Flyers around. Always liked “The Chief”. Calaboo’s own! One of my favourites….

        • everton fc

          The Chief could also play hockey. And he wasn’t the biggest guy, yet he took on everyone, and did well in his role. Loved him. Still do. The kind of coach the Flames need. He actually makes me like the Flyers a wee bit!

          And I meant the remark about Konopka from the circle. He would have been a nice 4th liner a few years back. Now he’s an old-timer, like McGrattan. With more hockey ability, of course. Someone will pick him up off the waiver wire. Perhaps because he can still win a face off. He’d be great in the Oilers dressing room, as a few articles have hinted.

  • piscera.infada

    Would people here prefer Burke, as the situation is now? Or, would you prefer Feaster without Burke?

    Kind of a devil you know situation…

    I just wonder due to hate for Feaster, then hate for Burke for different reasons. And no, no cop-outs saying “anyone else”.

  • RedMan

    Burke defenders will state their case, Burke haters will state their case and neither will change the others mind. To much Burke not enough Flames.

    Lack of goal scoring is a key issue. One has the type of hockey being played from the start of the year to the last 3 games changed? it seems so. But I think the big key has been the loss of Wides and recently Russell on the back end. Both puck moving defenders and pp quaterbacks. Instead of bringing up Billins we see O’B, Smid, and Breen(because we had to see him and they were afraid he would be picked up. Little wonder our pp is struggling and we are making fewer breakout passes.

    Upfront the UFA’s have been struggling, Monahan is struggling since his injury, Sven has been sent down(probably a good thing) injuries to energy guys like Glen+ and BJones and there is little wonder the well has gone dry. Interesting that the guys from the AHL who had played well for the Heat have all brought something when they came up. So instead of bringing up and allowing to play the top 3/4 point scorers from the Heat (Street, Knight, Hankowski, and Granlund) we fill the roster with a face puncher. The four players mentioned may or may not be ready but will we ever know if they don’t get a chance. I say give at least one of them a chance.

  • the forgotten man

    DO I agree with the decision to leave Ryan off Team USA? No, but it wasn’t BB’s alone, so who cares?

    If/when BB makes a dumb move of any significance I will be among the first and loudest to condemn it. Ditto, if the dumb moves pile up, to call for his head. But the amount of hysteria being generated before he’s even made one significant move is becoming ludicrous.

    Was firing Feaster bad? No, most people on here never liked the bulk of his work even if they agreed with philosophical take on things.

    Signing Poirier? Klimchuk? And before 2014? Moving out Breen?

    So where are the positive remarks over these moves and why all the hysteria over a team BB doesn’t even have majority control of?

    So far BB’s public statements have been no dumber than Feaster’s. Welcome to another American lawyer, saying dumb crap is what they do.

  • piscera.infada

    @Sean Charles:

    “He traded spare parts for Phaneuf.

    He got Gardiner and Lupul for Beauchemin.

    He traded Schenn for van Riemsdyk.”

    One would think these moves alone, not to mention the Sedin twins coup, would at least buy the man some time.

    Better moves than Feaster ever made, that’s for sure.

    • Parallex

      “One would think these moves alone, not to mention the Sedin twins coup, would at least buy the man some time.”

      They would… but he spent any benefit of the doubt cred he’d earn from those trading away Seguin/Hamelton, drafting horribly, giving his buddy an extension and then firing him 2 months later, and paying out the nose for free agent truculance.

      I don’t think he (or anyone else) should get to coast on accomplishments and also ignore failings.

      • everton fc

        We gave Sutter the same benefit of the doubt after the almost cup and for a couple of years we stayed in the playoffs. The cost of letting people coast is the current state of our team. Most of the problems with this organization are directly related to that time period. Feaster cleaned up much of that mess and made some of his own. Burke starts in a better situation than Feaster did and than he did in Toronto. His one move so far is one that was not needed although pretty minor.

      • McRib

        “and paying out the nose for free agent truculance.”

        That was not Burke that was Nonis…. Also drafting Morgan Reilly, Nazem Kadri, Connor Brown (OHL Leading Scorer), Matt Finn, Stuart Percy, Jerry D’Amigo, Greg McKegg, etc is not “horrible” drafting, IMO. Outside of Tyler Biggs being a bust first rounder it was actually fairly efficient drafting. He got a handful of NHLers and basically rebuilt the clubs AHL system in four years. Even after giving away Top. 10 Picks (Seguin, Hamilton). If they didn’t trade away those picks I think during his four year time period Burke would have had one of the better drafting records during that time of all other NHL GM… That’s not horrible.

    • McRib

      He also acquired Cody Franson and Matthew Lombardi for Brett Lebda and Robert Slaney.

      Not even mentioning the fact that Franson is a fairly legitimate young 3/4 defender that a lot of teams would like to have (cough cough an Edmonton). Lombardi is the second best player in that trade and he is playing in Switzerland!! Haha.

  • everton fc

    it isnt burke’s hockey intelligence as much as its bombastic personality. burkie believes in the old intimidation tactic. he has a mobster mentality, a screw you ya dumb chit attitude. ryan may lack in the skating department for the big ice but its berserks classless words that are now the story. burke has made many great moves, several bad and i mean bad moves but its his mouth that draws most attention. burke is the bugsy seigel of nhl general managers.

  • everton fc

    Why is everyone so convinced that skating is “the big deal” on the international ice? Mikael Granlund is a terrible skater, but he was a superstar in Finland (and in the Worlds a few years ago, if one recalls). In fact, skating was considered the big concern for when he made the switch to North America.

  • piscera.infada

    Having just finsihed reading that article on Team USA, I can’t believe how utterly disingenuous the FN article concenrning BB’s comments in it were. So utterly ridiculous, I don’t even know where to start. All I can say is read the whole thing for yourself, but talk about taking comments out of context an dintentionally distorting the truth to fit a pre-conceived narrative.

    • FlamesRule

      The last three articles have had this same theme. Writers must have taken an oath to bait us and drive up posting activity – building traffic stats for advertising no doubt.

  • everton fc

    I also think Burke’s public comments about Ryan were out-of-bounds. Too much of the crap from him will not make him a favourite here, for he’ll do it to his own staff and players, eventually. It’s in his genetics.

    His big mouth is not what we need. I so wish we had taken a run at guys like Botterill and Fenton. Both class acts. Unlike Burke. How can Burke make these public comments about Ryan, and never bring them up about Kessel?? Seems to be a hypocrite. And I’ll say one could argue Murray built the Ducks, and Burke simply added the pieces for the Cup. Perhaps Murray could have plucked Pronger and Neidemayer. I’ll assume the latter would have been easy, being his brother was already in the Pond.

    All that said, I do see where the-Wolf is coming from. Meaning Burke was, is, and always will be a better GM than Feaster. And he is in a much better position with the Flames financially, et al, than he has been in the past. Westgarth is not a bad pickup, either. I like him more than McGrattan, for the reasons sited above (forecheck, skating ability)

    When will we get a sane front office and move forward? We continue to look in the past (Feaster/Burke) instead of the future (Hextall to Philly as Asst GM, Berube behind the bench = results)

    • piscera.infada

      I also think Burke’s public comments about Ryan were out-of-bounds.

      How were they out of bounds? What do you think these “hockey people” say about certain players when they enter into a hockey ‘think-tank’? I have an issue with the choice they made to have a reporter in the room with them as this was bound to happen. Regardless of if the statements about Ryan are true, or not, those men whose job it is to judge players, are obviously going to judge them. If the results hurt anyone’s feelings then that’s too bad really.

      • everton fc

        Let me re-phrase; comments are opinions. But if there’s a reporter in the room, use prudence. Burke doesn’t use prudence at times. I’d like the Flames to have someone with prudence. Tact. And so on. Not some loudmouth, which Burke is.

        Should have stayed in the room. But I get what you’re saying. And I suppose players need to take their lumps (see Rene Bourque).

        • piscera.infada

          Not saying you’re wrong regarding Burke needing to use more tact at times, but I’m sure that if the question about Ryan was posed to Burke in front of cameras in a media scrum, it probably wouldn’t have been said that way. We saw similar-type comments about Seguin during the Boston series in which they decided to trade him. Sure, the comment about spelling came off a arrogant, and probably could’ve been worded in a more respectful way. That said, if Ryan actually thinks the “spelling comment” was aimed at his intelligence, then… y’know.

  • Reidja

    There is so much to question about this piece (like, for example, have you tried Google defiine on ‘vis a vis’?), but this takes the cake:

    “I think we got a window into why the Flames are doomed to be bad for years, perhaps more than a decade, to come.”

    Really? Really?

    I usually enjoy your outlook as a counterpoint to blind optiism but wtf dude?

  • T&A4Flames

    At least Feaster got us a good head start. Assuming Burke doesn’t trade away all our young up and coming skill for bags and bags of truculence. The more I think about it, the more upset I become that Feaster wasn’t allowed to continue on the rebuild he started with Burke only keeping him from doing stupid moves.

    • EugeneV

      Feaster is not a hockey person, he is a lawyer.
      Never played the game, not 1 single time on the ice.

      Why would you want him in charge?

      Look at the Ryan O’Reilly fiasco. Feaster was the ONE single GM (as a lawyer)in the league who should not have made that LEGAL mistake. He may have thought that in his interpretation that we wouldn’t have lost ROR on waivers but he was wrong, and that is not the guy I want running my team.

      The best way to keep Feaster from making stupid moves was to get rid of him.

      The Flames are in a position to rebuild now, meaning they are not in cap hell and are not a city that free agents wouldn’t want to live in.

      There are some decent prospects and places waiting for them on the NHL team when/if they are ready. Ownership IS willing to spend to the cap and has the resources to do so.

      What’s not to like for the incoming GM?

      Burke is obviously an issue for some, but If you could have any GM in the league who would you take? Holland, Chiarelli, Shero aren’t available. So I would say Burke may just be the best we can hope for in tandem with MacInnis or whoever.

  • Newj

    I think Burke does have a good hockey mind and can likely trade and draft players better than most.

    The issue at hand IMO is the reason the Leafs ownership let him go. He was doing good things with the hockey operations but his ability to work with people, treat people including players was abysmal.

    Nobody can work with the man & this latest foot in mouth example bears the trademark of his inexusable conduct.

  • Newj

    The issue isn’t the comment that was made. The braintrust that were brought together were challenged to provide their insight and opinions. Their goal was to create a complete team and to do that, the panel needed to lay their cards on the table. Don’t kid yourself – Burke’s comments were tame compared to many others but ESPN picked the right character to highlight. Imagine the discussions in the Canadian boardroom with Lowe, Hitchcock, Julien and many other Type A personalities in the room. The discussions would be contentious and heated and alot worse than “he can’t spell intensity.” Burke is a tool but it’s not his fault that the US Olympic Hockey Team allowed the media to record honest, forthright and needed conversations and authorized their release. Embarrassing.

  • smith

    I was not a Feaster fan and not a Burke fan. I believe they both have some large problems with their ideology.

    I was really hoping together they would create one great gm. Burke would save Feaster from his bone headed moves and crappy trades, and Feaster would ensure we did not slide into this crappy face puncher routine. I was quite happy with the increase in skill brought in by Feaster and the much improved drafting (not convinced the improved drafting is from Weisboad though). On the other hand we did need to increase our size, but without loosing skill.

    With the move from Feaster to Burke we just changed out two GM’s who seem to have some large issues with how to put together a team.

  • RedMan

    I know people are saying we need to give Burke time in Calgary, but I, like many here, am really cringing.

    I’ve never liked Burke on a personal level. I have always chaffed against the extreme “type A” personality, which definitely describes Burke. Loud mouthed, callous with his words, always right, no time for other opinions, my way or the highway.

    It funny; there are those here who say, “Burke’s track record is great” while others say, “He has been a train wreck wherever he’s gone”

    I guess, like Feaster, (and probably like all of us) it depends on which body of work you look at. He has definitely won some big trades over the years, I can give him that.

    But, again because of his “A” personality, I have a hard time seeing what he is doing for the loud, blustery way in which he does it.

    But, like all type A’s, he really doesn’t give a rats rear what you or I or anyone else, even his boss, thinks. Therein is the strength and weakness of types A’s.

    The way I feel know is a little bit the same I felt after we traded for Burtuzzi. I was disgusted with the guy when he broke Moore’s neck and hoped he would be kicked out of hockey for ever, then viola, he is a Calgary flame. Bad taste in the mouth, and never did like him or adjust and was very much ashamed of our team.

    We want “character” guys, but where is the character organization? is there no organizational values that drives the way we teat people, drives the choice of words we use? Of all the people at the USA hockey meetings, it would be Burke who is quoted with the stupid, ignorant sound bytes. Ya, ya, ya… we don’t have all the context, I heard you say that. I don’t need context. Burke is smart enough to realize he could accomplish the same thing without the stupid, personal comments. He could have said the same thing in a different way, but, true to his type “A” nature(is there such a thing as type ‘triple A’?) he chose to use very harsh, extreme words.

    I’m sorry guys, but I am squarely in the camp that believes that even if he does select a GM (I think he will just keep the job) that the new GM will have no latitude to be anything but a front man for Burke. Burke is running the show and to think anyone can come in there and make a decision without prior Burke approval and 100% agreement is a pipe dream.

    To be honest, just like the Burtuzzi signing, I am now a little ashamed of our Calgary Flames. Hi big mouth and arrogant pushy ways hurt more then losing.

    I hope, operationally, he proves everyone wrong, but even if he does, I’m still embarrassed.

    OK, sorry about the long epistle; I needed to get this off my chest.

  • everton fc

    what should be most troubling for us is how burke’s treatment of ryan will affect a) the current players on the team and b) the flames’ ability to attract free agents, and retain free agents and drafts. calgary is already undesirable with the launch of the rebuild; burke’s presence now makes it even more undesirable.