Tag:Brian Burke
Posted on: September 16, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: September 16, 2011 11:53 am
 

Schenn, Leafs reach deal; Isles lock up Bailey

By Brian Stubits

Make that two restricted free agents down, two more to go.

Just in the nick of time, the Islanders re-signed Josh Bailey then the Leafs followed suit by extending Luke Schenn, each without new contracts the day before most teams reported to training camp. That means we reached camps with all the restricted free agents under contract except two: the Coyotes' Kyle Turris and the big name on the block, Drew Doughty with the Kings.

Schenn was a tough negotiation to figure out. Eventually he got a five-year contract for $3.6 million annually. The Maple Leafs were looking for a lower price for Schenn but the desire to tie him into a longer deal drove up what they were willing to pay. The money does seem high, but consider what the going rate is for defensemen these days...

The hard part of the Schenn talks is trying to figure out his value. He's still a young player and projects to be a star for the Leafs on the blueline for a long time to come, but he hasn't shown that form as of yet. Clearly GM Brian Burke thinks he will meet that potential soon enough.

Billed as a stay-at-home defenseman, Schenn had five goals and 17 assists with Toronto last season while recording a minus-7. Those numbers were certainly a contributing factor in getting a good contract.

First came Bailey. Word of his new contract came down in the late hours Thursday night and he made if official by signing his two-year, $2.1 million contract on Friday morning.

Bailey's contract comes on the heels of the team re-signing John Tavares, avoiding the restricted free-agency drama altogether. Reports all along were that the negotiations were close and going smoothly, a deal was expected to be reached. I wonder why it took so long, but as long as it was completed before camp, no harm no foul, just some uneasiness.

Bailey is another part of the young core the Islanders are building around. Last season playing 70 games he had a little stepback from his sophomore season, scoring 11 goals to go with 17 assists.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:22 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 9:29 pm
 

Brian Burke talks shootout, overtime

burkesoBy: Adam Gretz

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke appeared on the Brady and Lang morning show on Fan 590 Radio in Toronto Friday morning and spent some time talking about the recent Research, Development and Orientation camp. The discussion eventually shifted toward the shootout and overtime, a topic of great debate among hockey fans.

When asked how the NHL should decide tie games during the regular season Burke said that, ideally, the two teams would continue to play until somebody scores a goal just like they do in the playoffs, but admitted that is not possible for an 82-game regular season. And he's right. Some of those playoff games end up going an two additional 20-minute periods, and that's just not going to happen over the course of a seven month regular season.

Regarding the shootout itself, Burke expressed his overall dislike for it before saying that he did vote for it and will continue to vote for it.

Said Burke, "I loathe the shootout. I hate it. I detest it. I despise it. I don't know if I can be any clearer, but our fans don't. Our fans like it, and it is a way to resolve games that shouldn't end in a tie all the time, and it's exciting. So I voted for it and I will continue to vote for it."

Whether or not all fans like it is up for debate. Purists and tradionalists that don't want to see any changes to the game likely share Burke's overall feelings toward the shootout, and probably wouldn't be as willing as he has been to vote for it to remain in the NHL. But while fans may complain about it, Burke did accurately point out that, for as polarizing as it may be among fans, you don't see any of them leaving games before shootouts take place (and of course you won't, because that's where the game is ultimately going to be decided). Look at it another way: It's probably the one of the few times other than a goal or a fight that fans, as a whole, come to their feet during a hockey game. For whatever that's worth.

One of the ideas that's been kicked around to help reduce the number of shootouts, while still making sure games don't end in ties, is an idea presented by Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland that would involve four minutes of four-on-four hockey, followed by three minutes of three-on-three hockey.

Burke likes that proposal, but also pointed out that extending the overtime period can be problematic due to the additional wear and tear players would go through having to play a potential seven-minute overtime period a number of times over the course of the season.

"Longer overtime is not an option unless the union agrees to it," said Burke.

He added that he would vote for such a proposal -- and feels most people in the league would as well -- and would also vote for anything that reduces the number of shootouts.

Even though he will also continue to vote for the shootout.

You can listen to his entire appearence on the show at Fan 590.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: July 6, 2011 10:28 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Daily Skate: Doughty wait in L.A., labor outlook

By Brian Stubits

DOUGH FOR DOUGHNUTS: The most talked about RFA has been Steven Stamkos and it isn't close. But there's a certain young star defenseman in L.A. who is currently without a contract and is restricted, too. From the sounds of it, that won't be changing for some time. Kings GM Dean Lombardi told the Los Angeles Times that "this could take awhile" in regards to the negotiations to re-sign Drew Doughty. Now, it is unlikely -- winning the lottery unlikely -- Doughty will play anywhere but Tinseltown in the foreseeable future, but nobody likes these negotiations to drag on. The talks could get a serious spur when Shea Weber gets his new contract in Nashville.

THE L WORD: The last thing anybody in sports wants to hear, especially in hockey, is talk about another lockout. With the NFL and NBA currently in labor battles (although they haven't cost either league a game or anything truly substantial yet) the NHL is OK for next season. But after that, the CBA runs out, and we could have a whole new set of issues up for contention. Lyle Richardson at Spector's Hockey says the fight this time wouldn't be about leveling the playing field, but about saving the playing field (i.e. poorly managed/endangered franchises), something the other owners might not be willing to do.

AHL SHAKEUP: Not only did we see a carousel on the AHL affiliation circus this offseason with numerous teams taking on a new minor-league city, but the AHL announced it will have a new look to it, too. A realignment of divisions was released yesterday as well as a new playoff format. It will look very similar to the NHL's version, just with a first round being a best-of-5 series instead of seven. Check out the layout here.

RISKY BUSINESS: Martin Havlat, Brent Burns, Michal Handzus, Jim Vandermeer. That's who the Sharks have brought in while losing some of the bigger parts of their back-to-back Western Conference runnerups. Typically teams don't make such drastic changes after being so close. Although this team has been together with the same core for some time, and that's the most they have to show for it. But I digress. Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News says there is no denying GM Doug Wilson is undertaking one massive risk with all these moves.

BURKE BURN PART II: Yesterday we pointed out how Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke was angry with criticism he received from a Toronto Sun columnist for spending Canada Day -- which is also the opening of free agency -- in Afghanistan visiting the troops. Now, a fellow writer at the Sun is coming to his co-worker Steve Simmons' defense after a slew of negative responses, pointing out, rightfully, it was just the man's opinion.

ANTTI-NHL: OK, so he might not have anything against the NHL, but his name works so well! Former Minnesota Wild forward Antti Miettinen is apparently not coming back to North America next season, instead signing a contract with a team in the KHL, according to Andy Strickland.He was one of the better free agents still left, having scored 16 goals and 35 points last season (20-22=42 the season before).

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: July 5, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 11:49 am
 

Daily Skate: Burke not too pleased with criticism

BURKE BURN: If you happened to catch the free-agency coverage on TSN (Versus was carrying the stream) you probably noticed Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons more or less lambasting Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke for not being present on the opening day of free agency, which included the team's meeting with Brad Richards. Instead, he was spending Canada Day with troops in Afghanistan. Burke, who had plenty of communications with everybody back in Canada via cell phone and Skype, is offended by the criticism, saying he would do it again. The National Post has the whole story.

RICHARDS OR POORER? Since Brad Richards elected to sign with the Rangers, it's been a lot of euphoria in Blueshirt land as they finally got a top-line center they hope can give them close to the production that messiah Messier once did. But it's not all rainbows and sunshine. Blueshirt Banter reins in the party on Broadway a bit by looking at the downsides to Richards, going deep into the world of statistics to do so.

COLE AS GOOD AS GOLD: As you might have gathered by now, this was not a deep free-agent class by any means, so it was tough for teams to fill their needs. But Montreal Canadiens blog Lions in Winter thinks the team did a fantastic job of taking care of its principle need: a top-six power forward. Outside of the pipedream of signing Richards, the conclusion is that Erik Cole was about the best fit they could find.

HEAT-ING UP? Dany Heatley had 26 goals and 38 assists for the San Jose Sharks last season. For most players in the league, those are great numbers. For a guy that has shown he can score 50 goals in a season? A little lackluster. So he gets a fresh start in Minnesota, a team that will be looking for every ounce of scoring it can find. Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune takes a look at the new partnership between the two and how they all hope it brings a return to form for Heatley.

TORRES' TREK: Raffi Torres is the son of a Mexican father and Peruvian mother who hails from Canada and has red hair. All make for one interesting player ... and determined. Torres, who just signed with the Phoenix Coyotes, gained that proverbial chip on his shoulder growing up facing the prejudices of playing hockey as a Latino. The Arizona Republic explains.

By Brian Stubits

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Posted on: April 6, 2011 2:13 am
Edited on: April 6, 2011 2:14 am
 

Morning Skate: Leafs' skid officially extended



The Toronto Maple Leafs’ playoff drought officially reached six seasons on Tuesday, although most of Ontario saw that coming with club’s horrific start. 

The skid, the longest in franchise history, predates the NHL lockout. Two teams (Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks) have seized Stanley Cup titles for the first time and two other Original Six franchises (Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks) earned championships as the club at the center of the hockey universe has called it a season at 82 games.

Line Changes
  • Eye on Hockey: Vancouver's Torres ejected
  • Eye on Hockey: NYR's Callahan on shelf
  • Buffalo inches closer to playoff berth
  • CBSSports.com playoff tracker
  • So, where was the outrage Tuesday night? Imagine if baseball’s equivalent, the New York Yankees, or the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakes, went that long without a playoff berth. Heck, the fanbases for those franchises would be in an uproar if their teams didn’t secure a title or two. 

    The dependable Damien Cox of the Toronto Star for one wasn’t about to let the Leafs off the hook, understandably setting a good heap of the Leafs' lack of success on GM Brian Burke and coach Ron Wilson: 

    They’ve had their honeymoon period, and now this hockey town needs to demand answers and achievement.

    “I’m not going to conduct an autopsy here,” said Wilson after Tuesday night’s loss to the Caps.
    No problem. We’ll do it for you, coach.

    There were clearly factors that injured the Leaf season, including the failure to identify the organization’s best goaltender earlier, a serious injury to captain Dion Phaneuf, a good but not great season from (Phil) Kessel, the struggles of Mike Komisarek and, of course, that nightmarish power play.

    But the overriding issue that made the first half of the season a disaster and the second half not good enough is that this hockey club still lacks a defining personality, an identity that explains what it wants to be night after night.

    Burke built a solid nucleus in Vacouver, which included drafting the Sedin twins. After his contract was not renewed and a little bit of TV work, Burke needed only two seasons to turn the Ducks into Stanley Cup champs.

    He’s now about to complete his second full season in Toronto without nearly the success despite more resources at his disposal. Burke recently reaffirmed his backing to Wilson, who will return for his fourth season behind Toronto’s bench. 

    Nobody can question the credentials of either Burke or Wilson, but time could be running out for each -- and it doesn’t help that the team has hung out the “for sale” sign and could soon have new ownership that might not be as patient. 

    There are some positives, but who knows if they carry into next season. The Leafs are tied with the Los Angeles Kings with the fifth-most points (41) since the All-Star break. Rookie James Reimer (pictured above) was solid in net down the stretch, oftentimes keeping the Leafs in games to make their late-season run possible. Even in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals, Reimer made 39 saves in regulation and overtime. 

    "We can hold our heads high," said Reimer told the CBC Sports. "We’ve gained a lot of confidence."

    This is the latest, as CBC points out, the Leafs have gone (third-to-last game of the season) before getting eliminated since 2006. I guess that is what is considered progress these days in Toronto. The Leafs were actually eliminated a few minutes before their game ended via Buffalo’s victory over Tampa Bay. 

    "Everybody’s going to be really excited to get back here," Leafs forward Joffery Lupul told the network.

    Maybe it’s odd that the Leafs have lapsed into the “wait ‘til next season” mentality, but it has been 44 years since their last championship. It's quite understandable. 

    TUESDAY'S RESULTS
    Buffalo 4, Tampa Bay 2
    Washington 3 , Toronto 2 (SO)
    Ottawa 5, Philadelphia 2
    Pittsburgh 4, New Jersey 2
    Montreal 2, Chicago 1 (OT)
    St. Louis 3, Colorado 1
    Nashville 6, Atlanta 3
    Dallas 3, Columbus 0
    Edmonton 2, Vancouver 0
     
    -- A.J. Perez

    Photo: Getty Images 

     
     
     
     
    The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com