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.