Brian Burke…not so good.


Al Strachan has written what will henceforth be known as “The Definitive Hatchet Job on Brian Burke.”

Ol’ Al doesn’t think Ol’ Brian is such a hot general manager and he dredges up a few of Burkie’s less-stellar moment as GM of the Canucks. He also makes the totally legitimate point that Burke gets a lot of credit for an anaheim cup winner that was largely built by his predecessor.

I went back and took a closer look at Burke’s major trades with the Canucks and it’s true, on the big splashy ones, he was only fair-to-middling at best. 

Bure and Hedican for Jovanovski?..I’d call that a draw considering Bure twice scored 50 with the Panthers.  Mogilny for Morrison?…decent swap, but not a robbery by any means. Adrian Aucoin for Dan Cloutier?…bad trade.

But Burke’s greatest weakness is his draft record. In 6 years of drafting, his greatest finds were the Sedin brothers, Jarkko Ruutu, and R.J. Umberger (who he failed to sign and traded away for Martin Rucinsky…ugh).  Two of his drafts (2000, and 2002) produced not a single NHLer.

As I’ve said before, Burke has the personality to succeed in Toronto (he’s a tough guy and a great quote), but I tend to agree with Strachan that his bonafides as a hockey genius are somewhat exaggerated.


Brian Burke…not so good.

  1. Instructive that a member of the Toronto media thinks the hallmark for success as a Leafs’ GM is “a good quote…”

  2. If you don’t realize that ability to handle the media matters more than skill in Toronto, well, don’t start reading toronto papers, you’ll be horrified.

    • It takes thick skin to survive in Toronto, Burkes personality may be more valuable than his hockey smarts. Keeping a cool head when the pressure is on (i.e. not panicking at the start of this season)

  3. Bure was never going to play in Vancouver again AND his knee was suspect. So Burkie wasn’t exactly dealing from a position of strength there.

    Since they were traded, Morrison has scored over 100 more points than Mogilny, playing a harder, more important position.

    Traded for Potvin.. eek. Kept Cloutier around rather too long. Martin Brochu? Peter Skudra? Yikes…. (Add Ilya Bryzgalov to the list of bad goalie decisions)

  4. Burke aquired or signed something like 12 of the 18 skaters who won that cup in Anaheim and he did so in only 1 short year. He somehow managed to dump Fedorov and turn it into Neidermier, got Pronger for next to nothing (Smid and Lupul?) and routinely makes gutsy trades/signings like Schnieder, Bertuzzi, Weight etc. He is an unbelievably intelligent, successful and FUN gm to have run your team. Toronto should be so lucky.

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