While I still feel fairly hesistant about Brian Burke as the Calgary head honcho, it’s important to remember that he’s not a stupid man. His views about the importance of certain attributes may be misguided, but he’s hardly a complete caveman.
In fact, he can be rather clever and inspired when it strikes him. On Grantland, Sean McIndoe wrote an article called 5 Huge NHL Moves You’ve Probably Forgotten, and while there’s a nice reminder of the fact that the Flames signed Teemu to his first NHL contract, the part that concerns us here at Flamesnation comes a bit later, under the subject "Olaf Kolzig and the Disappearing Draft Pick".
Kolzig, as most will remember, was the Capitals goalie for about eleventy billion years, before George McPhee finally decided enough was enough, and those other guys need to play already, amiright? So Kolzig went down to Tampa where he didn’t do much and ended up with an injury. So how does Burke get involved? I’ll let the article explain.
…at the 2009 trade deadline, [Kolzig] was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. When the deal was announced, a confused hockey world tried to figure out what was going on. Had there been some sort of mistake? Did the Leafs not know he was hurt? Had a frustrated Brian Burke finally snapped and decided that an injured and basically retired goalie would still be an upgrade over what he was stuck with at the time?
None of the above, as it turns out. Burke was just working the system. The Leafs acquired Kolzig as part of a package deal (there were other minor pieces going each way) knowing full well he’d never play for them. But the injured goalie was still owed hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the Leafs agreed to write the checks if the Lightning threw in a fourth-round pick in the 2009 entry draft. In essence, Burke had bought a draft pick.
For all the concerns I have regarding the direction Burke will take the Flames, one thing I’m not worried about is a repeat of the Ryan O’Reilly fiasco. Burke knows the CBA, he knows how to use it, and he’s smart enough to know what not to do. Sure, the NHL eventually taxed the Leafs for this with a minor CBA violation elsewhere, but that’s what happens when you embarrass the league.
If nothing else, the Burke era promises to be even more entertaining than the Feaster era.