Brian Burke Toronto Bound?

The worst kept secret in hockey was officially announced this week in the Toronto media, that the Toronto Maple Leafs are, in fact, talking to former Anaheim Ducks’ general manager, Brian Burke.

Burke, who was in Anaheim when they won the Stanley Cup in 2007, has been rumored, since this past summer, to be the next Maple Leafs general manager.  These rumors got stronger in the off-season, when the Leafs hired Burkeʼs close friend and former Providence roommate, Ron Wilson, to replace the fired Paul Maurice as the head coach. Burke also didnʼt want to sign a long- term deal to stay in Anaheim, and continued to express a desire to move East and into a big hockey market.

People around the NHL thought it was just a matter of time, when Burke vacated the Ducks GM post earlier this month, that he would be the Leafs’ next GM.

Approximately a day after he was allowed to negotiate with other teams, it was reported that Burke, who also worked in the GM capacity with the Vancouver Canucks, was in the hunt for a lucrative deal with Toronto, for a contract similar to the Raptors’ GM, Bryan Colangelo. 

According to those reports, Colangelo is in the middle of a five- year contract that nets him 3.5 million per season. The sticking point with Toronto is that Burke wants the same sort of total autonomy that Colangelo has with the Raptors.

Currently things are at the preliminary stages, as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment representative, Gord Kirke has been talking with Burkeʼs lawyer, Peter Gall. The next step will be Kirke getting the green light from the Board Of Directors, to make a formal deal.

Indications are that a formal meeting wonʼt transpire until this coming Wednesday, at the earliest. Stay tuned to for more information.


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