Brian Burke was relieved of his duties in Anaheim Wednesday. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Next stop, Toronto.
That is, if you’re Brian Burke, now former GM of the Anaheim Ducks.
When the news broke Wednesday afternoon that Ducks assistant GM Bob Murray would be taking over the team immediately, it only confirmed what many of us have been saying for months: it is virtually a foregone conclusion Burke will replace de facto interim GM Cliff Fletcher with the Maple Leafs as soon as he can. (Burke will stay on as a consultant with the Ducks for the remainder of the season, but apparently can immediately begin negotiations with any team.)
As is his wont, Burke has been completely straightforward about the family issues he was facing while working in Anaheim. His Canadian-born journalist wife doesn’t have the proper papers to find employment in the United States and his children from a previous marriage still reside on the East Coast, stretching his energies to the breaking point.
There’s only one situation that can help Burke in both those areas. And it sure isn’t to be found in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa or Montreal.
No, the answer for him is clearly Toronto – just as it was all throughout the charade that was the Leafs’ GM search last summer. What, you think the Leafs are waiting for Glen Sather to leave the Rangers?
Hell, no. They knew right from the start that Burke met all their qualifications: he had a Stanley Cup on his resume; he could handle the TMMM (Toronto Mainstream Media Mafia) with relative ease; and…well, that’s basically it.
Now comes the real hard part for Burke – justifying the hype that has preceded his stint as Leafs GM.
Regardless of his success in that task, you can be assured he won’t be meek about it. And that’s why we’re about to enter a Golden Age of notable quotables in Toronto.
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