…and you can all (both?) breathe a sigh of relief that you’ll hear no more Brian Burke updates in this space. Fromhttp://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hnBFANCARcu428jlCR8Wm3y-MmbwD94NN7H81:
A contract agreement was reached yesterday between Toronto lawyer Gord Kirke, who handled the negotiations for the Leafs, and Burke’s lawyer, Peter Gall. Burke plans to review and sign the six-year contract today, and the NHL club is planning the big announcement for tomorrow before the Leafs’ game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Burke indicated in an e-mail message that Gall told him a deal was struck by yesterday afternoon. The former Anaheim Ducks GM said he has not “reviewed or signed” the contract, “but it will get done.” A Maple Leafs source also indicated an agreement was reached.
Burke has been in Boston all week with his family to celebrate the U.S. Thanksgiving and did not plan to travel to Toronto until today at the earliest.
He said earlier that he expected the contract, which covers the rest of this NHL season and five more at $3-million (U.S.) a year, to be wrapped up by tomorrow at the latest.
From the Winnipeg Sun, which reports that everything has been prepared for Burke to take over the Maple Leafs’ front office, save a contract. That won’t be signed until after Thanksgiving, while Burke spends the remainder of the week in Boston with family.
While that has been widely reported the past 48 hours, Duck fans should care that David Nonis is reporting to be leaving Anaheim to be Burke’s No. 2 in Toronto. Nonis wasn’t here long; Burke plucked Nonis from Vancouver’s front office last summer after the latter was fired by the Canucks. He was passed over last week for the Ducks’ No. 2 executive position in favor of David McNab, who simply absorbed the No. 2 duties (as GM of the AHL affiliate and director of all scouting) on top of his existing salary-cap guru role.
Basically, when Bob Murray went to a 2-man front office, Nonis was the odd man out in Anaheim; a move to Toronto makes perfect sense for him. Consider it Burke’s first raid of his former team. (Though Burke, for the record, is still a paid consultant to Ducks CEO Michael Schulman).
You would have liked the Ducks’ video tribute to Salei midway through the Ducks’ 4-1 win on Monday.
Salei? He looked up, waved to the crowd, then said this after the game:
Brian Burke reportedly left his Anaheim-era residence today, grabbed a coffee at Pete’s — they don’t have Tim Hortons in Southern California — and bought Civil War Times magazine at a Los Angeles International Airport newsstand en route to Toronto.
The speculation surrounding Burke possibly becoming the Maple Leafs’ next general manager has often reached absurd levels over the past year, with all matter of minutiae reported and many attempts by sportswriters to connect the dots of separate moves by each party.
But it does appear the long-rumoured partnership could be forged some time very soon.
After a quiet weekend, talks between Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to heat up Monday, according to an NHL source.
Burke returned to his home in Anaheim on the weekend after spending several days in Vancouver last week while his wife, Jennifer, handled a freelance broadcasting assignment.
There were talks between Burke’s lawyer, Peter Gall, and the Leafs about the team’s president and general manager opening, but only to establish the timing of the negotiations and some broad parameters of a potential deal. Burke plans to do his own negotiating, while Toronto sports lawyer Gord Kirke and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Richard Peddie will be involved from the Leafs’ side.
Money is not expected to be an obstacle in the talks. The major issue is likely to be how much power Burke would have in the post and who he would report to, although the Leafs seem willing to grant him the same control that Toronto Raptors president and GM Bryan Colangelo has on the basketball side of MLSE. It is possible Burke could be hired by the end of the week.
Francois Beachemin’s bad news is good news for Bobby Ryan and Brett Festerling.
The Ducks placed Beauchemin on long-term injured reserve Saturday after an MRI exam revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The defenseman is expected to miss approximately six months, which projects to May 2009 — around the time of the NHL Conference Finals.